The critical care literature 2016

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An emergency physician (EP) is often the first health care provider to evaluate, resuscitate, and manage a critically ill patient. Between 2001 and 2009, the annual hours of critical care delivered in emergency departments (EDs) across the United States increased >200%! (Herring et al., 2013). This trend has persisted since then. In addition to seeing more critically ill patients, EPs are often tasked with providing critical care long beyond the initial resuscitation period. In fact, >33% of critically ill patients who are brought to an ED remain there for >6 h (Herring et al., 2013). During these crucial early hours of illness, detrimental pathophysiologic processes begin to take hold. During this time, lives can be saved or lost. Therefore, it is important for the EP to be knowledgeable about recent developments in critical care medicine. This review summarizes important articles published in 2016 pertaining to the care of select critically ill patients in the ED. The following topics are covered: intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, anti-arrhythmic therapy in cardiac arrest, therapeutic hypothermia, mechanical ventilation, sepsis, and septic shock.

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