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    01 January 2024, Volume 15 Issue 1
    Review Article
    Approach to traumatic cardiac arrest in the emergency department: a narrative literature review for emergency providers
    Rashed Alremeithi, Quincy K. Tran, Megan T. Quintana, Soroush Shahamatdar, Ali Pourmand
    2024, 15(1):  3-9.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2023.085
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    BACKGROUND: Traumatic cardiac arrest (TCA) is a major contributor to mortality and morbidity in all age groups and poses a significant burden on the healthcare system. Although there have been advances in treatment modalities, survival rates for TCA patients remain low. This narrative literature review critically examines the indications and effectiveness of current therapeutic approaches in treating TCA.
    METHODS: We performed a literature search in the PubMed and Scopus databases for studies published before December 31, 2022. The search was refined by combining search terms, examining relevant study references, and restricting publications to the English language. Following the search, 943 articles were retrieved, and two independent reviewers conducted a screening process.
    RESULTS: A review of various studies on pre- and intra-arrest prognostic factors showed that survival rates were higher when patients had an initial shockable rhythm. There were conflicting results regarding other prognostic factors, such as witnessed arrest, bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of prehospital or in-hospital epinephrine. Emergency thoracotomy was found to result in more favorable outcomes in cases of penetrating trauma than in those with blunt trauma. Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) provides an advantage to emergency thoracotomy in terms of occupational safety for the operator as an alternative in managing hemorrhagic shock. When implemented in the setting of aortic occlusion, emergency thoracotomy and REBOA resulted in comparable mortality rates. Veno-venous extracorporeal life support (V-V ECLS) and veno-arterial extracorporeal life support (V-A ECLS) are viable options for treating respiratory failure and cardiogenic shock, respectively. In the context of traumatic injuries, V-V ECLS has been associated with higher rates of survival to discharge than V-A ECLS.
    CONCLUSION: TCA remains a significant challenge for emergency medical services due to its high morbidity and mortality rates. Pre- and intra-arrest prognostic factors can help identify patients who are likely to benefit from aggressive and resource-intensive resuscitation measures. Further research is needed to enhance guidelines for the clinical use of established and emerging therapeutic approaches that can help optimize treatment efficacy and ameliorate survival outcomes.

    Original Article
    Efficacy of partial and complete resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta in the hemorrhagic shock model of liver injury
    Yi Shan, Yang Zhao, Chengcheng Li, Jianxin Gao, Guogeng Song, Tanshi Li
    2024, 15(1):  10-15.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.001
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    BACKGROUND: Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) can temporarily control traumatic bleeding. However, its prolonged use potentially leads to ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Partial REBOA (pREBOA) can alleviate ischemic burden; however, its security and effectiveness prior to operative hemorrhage control remains unknown. Hence, we aimed to estimate the efficacy of pREBOA in a swine model of liver injury using an experimental sliding-chamber ballistic gun.
    METHODS: Twenty Landrace pigs were randomized into control (no aortic occlusion) (n=5), intervention with complete REBOA (cREBOA) (n=5), continuous pREBOA (C-pREBOA) (n=5), and sequential pREBOA (S-pREBOA) (n=5) groups. In the cREBOA and C-pREBOA groups, the balloon was inflated for 60 min. The hemodynamic and laboratory values were compared at various observation time points. Tissue samples immediately after animal euthanasia from the myocardium, liver, kidneys, and duodenum were collected for histological assessment using hematoxylin and eosin staining.
    RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the survival rate of the REBOA groups was prominently improved (all P<0.05). The total volume of blood loss was markedly lower in the cREBOA group (493.14±127.31 mL) compared with other groups (P<0.01). The pH was significantly lower at 180 min in the cREBOA and S-pREBOA groups (P<0.05). At 120 min, the S-pREBOA group showed higher alanine aminotransferase (P<0.05) but lower blood urea nitrogen compared with the cREBOA group (P<0.05).
    CONCLUSION: In this trauma model with liver injury, a 60-minute pREBOA resulted in improved survival rate and was effective in maintaining reliable aortic pressure, despite persistent hemorrhage. Extended tolerance time for aortic occlusion in Zone I for non-compressible torso hemorrhage was feasible with both continuous partial and sequential partial measures, and the significant improvement in the severity of acidosis and distal organ injury was observed in the sequential pREBOA.

    A novel predictor of unsustained return of spontaneous circulation in cardiac arrest patients through a combination of capnography and pulse oximetry: a multicenter observational study
    Jing Yang, Hanqi Tang, Shihuan Shao, Feng Xu, Yangyang Fu, Shengyong Xu, Chen Li, Yan Li, Yang Liu, Joseph Harold Walline, Huadong Zhu, Yuguo Chen, Xuezhong Yu, Jun Xu
    2024, 15(1):  16-22.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2023.186
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    BACKGROUND: Unsustained return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) is a critical barrier to survival in cardiac arrest patients. This study examined whether end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) and pulse oximetry photoplethysmogram (POP) parameters can be used to identify unsustained ROSC.
    METHODS: We conducted a multicenter observational prospective cohort study of consecutive patients with cardiac arrest from 2013 to 2014. Patients’ general information, ETCO2, and POP parameters were collected and statistically analyzed.
    RESULTS: The included 105 ROSC episodes (from 80 cardiac arrest patients) comprised 51 sustained ROSC episodes and 54 unsustained ROSC episodes. The 24-hour survival rate was significantly higher in the sustained ROSC group than in the unsustained ROSC group (29.2% vs. 9.4%, P<0.05). The logistic regression analysis showed that the difference between after and before ROSC in ETCO2 (ΔETCO2) and the difference between after and before ROCS in area under the curve of POP (ΔAUCp) were independently associated with sustained ROSC (odds ratio [OR]=0.931, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.881-0.984, P=0.011 and OR=0.998, 95% CI 0.997-0.999, P<0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of ΔETCO2, ΔAUCp, and the combination of both to predict unsustained ROSC were 0.752 (95% CI 0.660-0.844), 0.883 (95% CI 0.818-0.948), and 0.902 (95% CI 0.842-0.962), respectively.
    CONCLUSION: Patients with unsustained ROSC have a poor prognosis. The combination of ΔETCO2 and ΔAUCp showed significant predictive value for unsustained ROSC.

    Serum procalcitonin levels are associated with rhabdomyolysis following exertional heatstroke: an over 10-year intensive care survey
    Li Zhong, Feifei Shuai, Conglin Wang, Lipeng Han, Zhifeng Liu, Ming Wu
    2024, 15(1):  23-27.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.02.009
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    BACKGROUND: Heatstroke has become a common emergency event in hospitals. Procalcitonin (PCT) is used as a biomarker of infection in the emergency department (ED), but its role in rhabdomyolysis (RM) following exertional heatstroke (EHS) remains unclear.
    METHODS: A retrospective cohort study enrolled patients with EHS from the intensive care unit (ICU). We collected RM biomarkers, inflammation markers, critical disease scores at admission, 24 h, 48 h, and discharge, and 90-day mortality. Correlation analysis, linear regression and curve fitting were used to identify the relationship between PCT and RM.
    RESULTS: A total of 162 patients were recruited and divided into RM (n=56) and non-RM (n=106) groups. PCT was positively correlated with myoglobin (Mb), acute hepatic injury, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score, with correlation coefficients of 0.214, 0.237, 0.285, 0.454, and 0.368, respectively (all P<0.05). Interestingly, the results of curve fitting revealed a nonlinear relationship between PCT and RM, and a two-piecewise linear regression model showed that PCT was related to RM with an odds ratio of 1.3 and a cut-off of <4.6 ng/mL. Survival analysis revealed that RM was associated with higher mortality compared to non-RM cases (P=0.0093).
    CONCLUSION: High serum PCT concentrations are associated with RM after EHS in critically ill patients. Elevated PCT concentrations should be interpreted cautiously in patients with EHS in the ED.

    Protective effect and mechanism of nanoantimicrobial peptide ND-C14 against Streptococcus pneumoniae infection
    Yangyang Guo, Yaqi Sun, Hongxia Wu, Jian Lu, Yuan Lin, Jiaqing Zhu, Meihong Lai, Meiqi Zhang, Jun Wang, Jungang Zheng
    2024, 15(1):  28-34.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.014
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    BACKGROUND: Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) is a common pathogen that causes bacterial pneumonia. However, with increasing bacterial resistance, there is an urgent need to develop new drugs to treat S. pneumoniae infections. Nanodefensin with a 14-carbon saturated fatty acid (ND-C14) is a novel nanoantimicrobial peptide designed by modifying myristic acid at the C-terminus of human α-defensin 5 (HD5) via an amide bond. However, it is unclear whether ND-C14 is effective against lung infections caused by S. pneumoniae.
    METHODS: In vitro, three groups were established, including the control group, and the HD5 and ND-C14 treatment groups. A virtual colony-count assay was used to evaluate the antibacterial activity of HD5 and ND-C14 against S. pneumoniae. The morphological changes of S. pneumoniae treated with HD5 or ND-C14 were observed by scanning electron microscopy. In vivo, mice were divided into sham, vehicle, and ND-C14 treatment groups. Mice in the sham group were treated with 25 µL of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Mice in the vehicle and ND-C14 treatment groups were treated with intratracheal instillation of 25 µL of bacterial suspension with 2×108 CFU/mL (total bacterial count: 5×106 CFU), and then the mice were given 25 μL PBS or intratracheally injected with 25 μL of ND-C14 (including 20 µg or 50 µg), respectively. Survival rates were evaluated in the vehicle and ND-C14 treatment groups. Bacterial burden in the blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were counted. The lung histology of the mice was assessed. A propidium iodide uptake assay was used to clarify the destructive effect of ND-C14 against S. pneumoniae.
    RESULTS: Compared with HD5, ND-C14 had a better bactericidal effect against S. pneumoniae because of its stronger ability to destroy the membrane structure of S. pneumoniae in vitro. In vivo, ND-C14 significantly delayed the death time and improved the survival rate of mice infected with S. pneumoniae. ND-C14 reduced bacterial burden and lung tissue injury. Moreover, ND-C14 had a membrane permeation effect on S. pneumoniae, and its destructive ability increased with increasing ND-C14 concentration.
    CONCLUSION: The ND-C14 may improve bactericidal effects on S. pneumoniae both in vitro and in vivo.

    Molecular mechanism of Xuebijing in treating pyogenic liver abscess complicated with sepsis
    Wei Zhou, Maiying Fan, Xiang Li, Fang Yu, En Zhou, Xiaotong Han
    2024, 15(1):  35-40.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.016
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    BACKGROUND: Xuebijing (XBJ) can alleviate the inflammatory response, improve organ function, and shorten the intensive care unit (ICU) stay in patients with pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) complicated with sepsis, but the molecular mechanisms have not been elucidated. This study aimed to explore the molecular mechanism of XBJ in treating PLA complicated with sepsis using a network pharmacology approach.
    METHODS: The active ingredients and targets of XBJ were retrieved from the ETCM database. Potential targets related to PLA and sepsis were retrieved from the GeneCards, PharmGKB, DisGeNet, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), Therapeutic Targets Database (TTD), and DrugBank databases. The targets of PLA complicated with sepsis were mapped to the targets of XBJ to identify potential treatment targets. Protein-protein interaction networks were analyzed using the STRING database. Potential treatment targets were imported into the Metascape platform for Gene Ontology (GO) functional enrichment and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses. Molecular docking was performed to validate the interactions between active ingredients and core targets.
    RESULTS: XBJ was found to have 54 potential treatment targets for PLA complicated with sepsis. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) were identified as core targets. KEGG enrichment analysis revealed important pathways, including the interleukin-17 (IL-17) signaling pathway, the TNF signaling pathway, the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway, and the Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway. Molecular docking experiments indicated stable binding between XBJ active ingredients and core targets.
    CONCLUSION: XBJ may exert therapeutic effects on PLA complicated with sepsis by modulating signaling pathways, such as the IL-17, TNF, NF-κB, and TLR pathways, and targeting IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF.

    Application of multidisciplinary in situ simulation training in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke: a quality improvement project
    Ganying Huang, Huijie Yang, Huan Yao, Xinxin Fan, Wenqin Xia, Yuansheng Xu, Xiaoling Shen, Xue Zhao
    2024, 15(1):  41-46.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2023.084
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    BACKGROUND: Ischemic stroke refers to a disorder in the blood supply to a local area of brain tissue for various reasons and is characterized by high morbidity, mortality, and disability. Early reperfusion of brain tissue at risk of injury is crucial for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. The purpose of this study was to evaluate comfort levels in managing acute stroke patients with hypoxemia who required endotracheal intubation after multidisciplinary in situ simulation training and to shorten the door-to-image time.
    METHODS: This quality improvement project utilized a comprehensive multidisciplinary in situ simulation exercise. A total of 53 participants completed the two-day in situ simulation training. The main outcome was the self-reported comfort levels of participants in managing acute stroke patients with hypoxemia requiring endotracheal intubation before and after simulation training. A 5-point Likert scale was used to measure participant comfort. A paired-sample t-test was used to compare the mean self-reported comfort scores of participants, as well as the endotracheal intubation time and door-to-image time on the first and second days of in situ simulation training. The door-to-image time before and after the training was also recorded.
    RESULTS: The findings indicated that in situ simulation training could enhance participant comfort when managing acute stroke patients with hypoxemia who required endotracheal intubation and shorten door-to-image time. For the emergency management of hypoxemia or tracheal intubation, the mean post-training self-reported comfort score was significantly higher than the mean pre-training comfort score (hypoxemia: 4.53±0.64 vs. 3.62±0.69, t= -11.046, P<0.001; tracheal intubation: 3.98±0.72 vs. 3.43±0.72, t= -6.940, P<0.001). We also observed a decrease in the tracheal intubation and door-to-image time and a decreasing trend in the door-to-image time, which continued after the training.
    CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that the implementation of in situ simulation training in a clinical environment with a multidisciplinary approach may improve the ability and confidence of stroke team members, optimize the first-aid process, and effectively shorten the door-to-image time of stroke patients with emergency complications.

    Pulmonary rehabilitation protocols in urgent lung transplantation patients
    Fei Zeng, Lingyun Cai, Luyao Guo, Meijuan Lan, Jiangshuyuan Liang, Peipei Gu
    2024, 15(1):  47-51.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.015
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    BACKGROUND: Prolonged invasive respiratory support and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in patients requiring urgent lung transplantation (ULTx) present significant challenges to clinical practice due to severe underlying diseases and complex conditions. The aim of the study was to report the clinical outcomes of patients who received ULTx and followed the perioperative rehabilitation protocol implemented in a lung transplant center.
    METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted in ULTx patients who required preoperative invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) and ECMO between January 2018 and January 2023. Data were retrieved from electronic medical records at our lung transplant center.
    RESULTS: Fourteen patients (mean age 57.43±10.97 years; 12 males, 2 females) underwent ULTx with bridging ECMO and IMV. The mean body mass index was 23.94±3.33 kg/m², and the mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score was 21.50±3.96. The Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS 2002) scores were ≥3. ULTx was performed after an 8.5-day waiting period (interquartile interval [IQR] 5.0-26.5 d). Following the surgeries, the average lengths of ECMO and IMV were 1.0 (IQR 1.0-2.0) d and 5.0 (IQR 3.0-7.3) d, respectively. The total length of hospital stay was 60.1±30.8 d, with an average intensive care unit stay of 38.3±22.9 d and post-operative hospitalization stay of 45.8±26.1 d. Two patients died within 30 d after ULTx, with a 30-day survival rate of 85.71%.
    CONCLUSION: Patients receiving ULTx showed an acceptable short-term survival rate, validating the practicality and safety of the treatment protocols implemented in our center.

    Research Letter
    Hepatic rupture secondary to HELLP syndrome: outcomes in three cases
    Salvador Gomez-Carro, Ruben R. Lozano-Salazar, Kassandra Santos-Zaldívar, Victor Andres Villasuso-Alcocer, Nina Méndez-Domínguez
    2024, 15(1):  56-58.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.003
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    Total suprarenal aortic occlusion with cardiac disease: a case series of three cases
    Yuanli Lei, Jiaozhen Chen, Qin Chen, Jiana Yin, Weijia Huang, Wenxing Song, Shouquan Chen
    2024, 15(1):  59-61.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.004
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    Phrenic nerve block: the key to managing acute biliary pain?
    Michael Shalaby, Joshua Luftig
    2024, 15(1):  62-63.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.005
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    Case Letter
    Recurrent malignant hyperthermia after scoliosis correction surgery
    Junfeng Su, Man Huang
    2024, 15(1):  70-72.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.006
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    Handheld bedside ultrasound in the diagnosis of myocarditis
    Frank Wheeler, Robin Lahr, James Espinosa, Alan Lucerna, Henry Schuitema
    2024, 15(1):  73-74.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.010
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    A pregnant patient with type II osteogenesis imperfecta pregnancy
    Chenyu Jiang, Chenyi Bao, Shujuan Shu
    2024, 15(1):  75-76.  doi:10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2024.008
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