SMACC Gold Neuroanatomy Talk

Back in March 2014 I had the pleasure of speaking at SMACC Gold in Australia. The whole thing was great fun and I’m sure you’re all aware it’s going to Chicago in May 2015 so be sure to be there. Indeed Registration opens tonight (in the UK at least) so check it out!!!

Every talk from the conference is coming out via the SMACC podcast so make sure you subscribe.

As my talk is so predominantly visual, it really needs the slides for it to make sense so I’ve included the slideset here and put the audio over the slides so you can get the feel of the talk.

Direct Download [SD 41mb]

For people interested in learning some more detailed neuroanatomy I’d strongly recommend headneckbrainspine.com

They’ve done what I’ve always wanted to do and have created scrolling, labelled radiology images that wonderfully demonstrate the anatomy in 3 dimensions. Really invaluable stuff.

Here’s a list of previous neuro related podcasts I’ve done:

And if you’re interested in working where I work as an ultrasound or education fellow then get in touch.

SMACC Chicago Programme now available!

If you’ve found your way to this blog at all then I’m sure you’ve heard of SMACC.

The programme for the next conference in Chicago 23-26th June 2015 has just been released. Be sure and check out the programme to get an idea of the quality experience you can expect. It’s great to see some names whose papers I’ve been reading for years but don’t exist on social media such as Paul Marik and Mervyn Singer. Also great to see one of the longest standing names in FOAMed, Mark Crislip making a couple of appearances.

A nice list of reflections from last year (ripped from Tim’s site)

 

tPA for stroke debate at IAEM 2014

The 2014 meeting of IAEM was a great experience. For a country of 4.5 million with just over 70 emergency physicians we put on a pretty good show I think. I like to use “we” even though I had no part to play in organising the damn thing. Credit to David Menzies for leading the work.

There was almost a mini SMACC reunion with Rick Body, Mark Wilson, Weingart and John Hinds all in attendance and speaking. Through the premiere of Code Black I also managed to have dinner with Billy Mallon which was everything you would expect it to be.

I also got the chance to do my first stroke thrombolysis debate. I got into all this about 3 or 4 years ago when I first started listening to the abstracts and heard Jerry Hoffman on it. It was the first real topic to get me really excited about critical appraisal and reading the medical literature. If it turns out us skeptics are all wrong on tPA then at least I’ve gained a few skills along the way.

Below is my half of the debate. The pro side was delivered by a local stroke physician and I have to confess that I lost the debate. I must be doing something wrong if the emergency doc can lose a debate on stroke thrombolysis to a room of other emergency docs…

As with most short debates like this, it isn’t a deep and considered view of all the evidence, it’s as much about making the argument as anything else. Any feedback is of course welcomed. I’ve tried to include a reasonably comprehensive list of references at the bottom.

It’s probably worth noting that I work in a hospital that has a very enthusiastic stroke thrombolysis team (which as part of my job I have a small role in activating) and to give credit where it’s due they provide a great service with the quickest and best assessment in the ED you can imagine. It’s very rare in Ireland to get a consultant to the patient’s bedside within minutes of arrival but our stroke team does this well. We would do well to provide close to such a service for our trauma patients but that’s another story altogether…

 

References:

The BMJ Pro Con Debate

The Ioannidis Paper

  • Ioannidis JPA. Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med. Public Library of Science; 2005;2(8):e124. [full text]

A decade of reversal

  • Prasad V, Vandross A, Toomey C, Cheung M, Rho J, Quinn S, et al. A Decade of Reversal: An Analysis of 146 Contradicted Medical Practices. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Elsevier; 2013 Aug;88(8):790–8. [Full Text]

The Lenzer paper on the problems with guidelines

Roger Shinton’s letter to the Lancet

Simon Thompson’s paper on heterogeneity in meta-analysis [H/T Dave Newman for this one]

  • Thompson SG. Why sources of heterogeneity in meta-analysis should be investigated. BMJ (Clinical research ed). 1994 Nov 19;309(6965):1351–5. [Full Text]

The systematic review mentioned

  • Wardlaw JM, Murray V, Berge E, del Zoppo G, Sandercock P, Lindley RL, et al. Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator for acute ischaemic stroke: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2012 Jun 23;379(9834):2364–72. [Full Text]

Jeff Mann’s break down of the NINDS patients revealing the baseline imbalance

  • Mann J. Efficacy of Tissue Plasminogen Activator (Tpa) for Stroke: Truths about the NINDS study: setting the record straight. Western Journal of Medicine. 2002;176(3):192. [Full Text]

The RCTs

  • Intravenous desmoteplase in patients with acute ischaemic stroke selected by MRI perfusion-diffusion weighted imaging or perfusion CT (DIAS-2): a prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Lancet Neurology 2009 Feb.;8(2):141–150. PMCID 2730486
  • Effects of alteplase beyond 3 h after stroke in the Echoplanar Imaging Thrombolytic Evaluation Trial (EPITHET): a placebo-controlled randomised trial. Lancet Neurology 2008 Apr.;7(4):299–309.PMID 18296121
  • Randomised controlled trial of streptokinase, aspirin, and combination of both in treatment of acute ischaemic stroke. Multicentre Acute Stroke Trial–Italy (MAST-I) Group. The Lancet 1995 Dec.;346(8989):1509 -1514. PMID: 7491044 
  • Thrombolytic therapy with streptokinase in acute ischemic stroke. The Multicenter Acute Stroke Trial–Europe Study Group (MAST-E). N Engl J Med 1996 Jul.;335(3):145–150. PMID: 8657211
  • Streptokinase for acute ischemic stroke with relationship to time of administration: Australian Streptokinase (ASK) Trial Study Group. JAMA 1996 Sep.;276(12):961–966. PMID: 8805730
  • Recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (Alteplase) for ischemic stroke 3 to 5 hours after symptom onset. The ATLANTIS (B) Study: a randomized controlled trial. Alteplase Thrombolysis for Acute Noninterventional Therapy in Ischemic Stroke. JAMA 1999 Dec.;282(21):2019–2026. PMID: 10591384 
  • The rtPA (alteplase) 0- to 6-hour acute stroke trial, part A (A0276g) : results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Thromblytic therapy in acute ischemic stroke study investigators.(ATLANTIS A) Stroke 2000 Apr.;31(4):811–816.  PMID 10753980
  • Tissue plasminogen activator for acute ischemic stroke. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke rt-PA Stroke Study Group (NINDS). N Engl J Med 1995 Dec.;333(24):1581–1587. PMID: 7477192
  • Intravenous thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator for acute hemispheric stroke. The European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study (ECASS). JAMA 1995 Oct.;274(13):1017–1025.1. PMID: 7563451 
  • Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of thrombolytic therapy with intravenous alteplase in acute ischaemic stroke (ECASS II). Second European-Australasian Acute Stroke Study Investigators. The Lancet 1998 Oct.;352(9136):1245–1251. PMID: 9788453 
  • Thrombolysis with alteplase 3 to 4.5 hours after acute ischemic stroke (ECASS III). N Engl J Med 2008 Sep.;359(13):1317–1329. PMID: 18815396 
  • The IST-3 collaborative group. The benefits and harms of intravenous thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator within 6 h of acute ischaemic stroke (the third international stroke trial [IST-3]): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2012 May 23.PMID: 22632908

 

A few #FOAMed resources

CEM FOAMed network

CFN Logo

The College of Emergency Medicine is the body responsible for training all the wonderful UK emergency medicine trainees and represents the speciality in the UK. The trainees in Ireland do the UK exams so the specialties in both countries have a fairly close relationship.

The college’s main online educational presence in recent years has been the ENLIGHTENme platform. There’s been some good stuff on there but it’s behind a log in and not immediately accessible in the way FOAMed resources have been.

With the rise of FOAMed and it’s influence on education of emergency physicians, it’s only natural that the college would want to embrace the idea.

Simon Laing (of the HEFT EM Podcast) is the college lead for this and he has been involved in recruiting people from the different regions of the UK and Ireland to provide FOAMed resources. Ultimately the goal is to ‘map’ the college curriculum. Somewhat similar to my own little anatomy project but on a much broader scale.

The UK exams for emergency medicine are a different beast to the Aus/NZ ones so it’s a natural that there’ll be a need for some more specifically directed resources.

The CEM FOAMed Network (rejoicing in the acronym CFN) is a project in development. The website is in the pipeline and the introductory podcast is now live on iTunes.

Please check it out and look out for more FOAMed resources in the near future.

Conflicts

  • I am the regional lead for Ireland for the project
  • The college was kind enough to provide me some small amount of funds for a microphone.

EMS Gathering Review

It’s been a month since the Irish EMS Gathering conference that I had the pleasure of speaking at. This was the second year and it’s a pretty unique event. It’s main focus is naturally pre hospital care and it’s great to see a medical conference that isn’t just doctors talking about how awesome doctors are… Plus, Carley was there so it was nice to catch up.

Here’s just 3 (of many) highlights.

Gareth Davies [London HEMS]

Gareth Davies

Absolutely lovely bloke with brain the size of the a planet and clearly very, very good at what he does. My take home message was his talk on impact brain apnoea. This is a new phenomenon to me and to be fair I think the London HEMS guys have coined the term. It is based on some wonderful rat models from a long time ago though. The basic idea is that the massive trauma of high speed motor vehicle accidents leads to some form of brainstem event that results in transient apnoea and blown pupils. This is associated with a massive surge of catecholamines and resultant cardiovascular instability and collapse. You only see this if you do prehospital care, and even more so if you’re a doc on the scene of something like the Isle of Man TT or the North West 2oo, both designed to allow young crazy, northern irish men try to kill themselves in as dramatic a way as possible. The key, Davies says, is early intervention not nihilism. The reason these guys do so badly is not because of the their structural brain injury but from prolonged prehospital apnoea. Davies, like the wonderful Mark Wilson advocates that if these guys are oxygenated early then they need aggressive neurosurgical intervention and never mind the blown pupils. The poor outcomes that people quote are self-fulfilling prophecies – if you do not intervene then it’s no surprise they do poorly.

He always goes down in history for his nuanced critique of the PK format of talks as Pokemon talks.

[Impact Brain Apnoea also here on Resus.ME]

The ATACC guys

ATACC

I made the mistake of not going to their simulation workshop but chatting to Mark Forrest and Jason you get an idea of how much these guys are passionate about improving prehospital trauma care. They have made the ATACC manual available as a FOAMed resource and I’m about half way through and loving it so far. Alan Watts, one of my fellow trainees and FOAMed connoisseur told me it was the best course he’s ever been on so it’s on my wish list.

Conor Deasy and the Trauma audit

Conor Deasy

To me Conor Deasy was always the lead singer in this band but turns out he’s a researcher, EM consultant and now the trauma audit lead for Ireland

I’ve bemoaned our lack of a functional trauma system in Ireland on twitter before but I suppose it’s worth mentioning again. We only have one hospital in the country with all the requisite specialties but as Karim Brohi has noted, a hospital of specialties is not a specialist hospital. Ireland has a population of less than 5 million. It’s not clear how many trauma centres we might need, but it’s going to be a lot less than the current 28 EDs we have that have the potential to receive major trauma. Trauma remains an inconvenience to hospitals in Ireland. No one is really planned and prepared for it and there is no systems wide approach to making it efficient, effective and seamless. At present we have no data to show that we’re not very good at trauma. Hopefully trauma audit (no matter what issues there may be with TARN) will give us a basis for something like the NCEPOD report that seemed (to me as a very junior doc at the time) a big deal in improving UK trauma care.