2018 AHA Focused Update

Background

The year 2005 was full of milestones, YouTube was founded in February and it was also the last time lidocaine was included in the American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm.1 Since 2010, we have been directed by the guidelines to utilize amiodarone as the sole first-line antidysrhythmic.2 At the same time, there has been an increased focus on early defibrillation and proper CPR technique as opposed to medication administration. In 2015, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) moved away from publishing guideline updates every 5 years to a continuous process wherein they provide updates as the literature dictates.3

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Low-dose vs. High-dose Magnesium in Rapid Afib

Magnesium sulfate has been used as an adjunct medication for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) due to its ability to lessen sinus node depolarization via calcium antagonism. Prior studies investigating magnesium in rapid AF administered varying dosages, often targeted post-surgical patients, and had small sample sizes. Dr. Bryan Hayes summarized previous studies on Academic Life in Emergency Medicine in 2016, focusing on IV magnesium for rate-control in ED-related settings and concluded it to be safe and moderately effective for reducing heart rate in rapid AF.

A new 2018 study by Bouida and colleagues aimed to determine the benefit of two different magnesium doses vs. placebo to control ventricular rate in ED patients with AF, when used with an AV nodal blocking agent.

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Ketamine for Acute Geriatric Pain in the ED

Subdissociative-dose ketamine (SDK) provides effective analgesia with lower rates of unwanted side effects when administered as a slow IV infusion. However, safety and efficacy studies have excluded geriatric patients until now, when Dr. Sergey Motov and colleagues strike again. SDK offers a much-needed pain management strategy for moderate to severe pain in this population who are often not ideal candidates for opioid analgesia.

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