Public Release: 

Emergency medicine research findings to be released at ACEP scientific assembly in October

American College of Emergency Physicians

Embargoed for Release until time of oral presentation

Washington, DC-- Make plans now to learn about the latest in lifesaving, emergency medicine research, at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) 2002 Scientific Assembly Research Forum, Oct. 7-8, at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle. More than 375 live and poster presentations of cutting-edge research will be showcased during the two-day forum. Comprehensive media facilities will be available in the onsite Press Room, Room 309, in the convention center.

On the last day of the forum, media representatives are invited to attend "Cutting-Edge Emergency Medicine: Highlighting the Best and Brightest of the Research Forum 2002," scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 4 p.m. to 5:55 p.m. The session features a panel of experts discussing abstracts with the most significant implications for emergency medicine practice or research. Below is a preview of the various studies that will likely be highlighted during this session. A comprehensive list of oral and poster presentations can be obtained from ACEP's Washington Office.

Diabetes research

  • A team from Yale University School of Medicine will report that diabetic women have a higher risk of dying the first year after a heart attack. (Gender Difference in Long-Term Survival After Acute Myocardial Infarction in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus)

In addition, Louisiana State University Health Science Center researchers will report that aggressive treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious insulin deficiency) in the emergency department can significantly improve a patient's chance for a rapid recovery regardless of the initial severity of their illness. (Aggressive Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Time Course for Correction of Metabolic Abnormalities)

Cardiology research

An earlier marker could be effective for ruling in or out serious cardiac disease in heart attack patients, according to findings that will be reported by University of Tennessee researchers. This marker could decrease the time cardiac patients spend in an emergency department from an average of six hours to two hours. This could result in less time spent in the emergency department for these patients and faster admission to the hospital or a chest pain observation unit. (Risk Stratification of Emergency Department Chest Pain Patients with Suspected Non-ST-Segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndromes: Delta CK-MB Outperforms First Generation Delta Troponin I at 2 Hours)

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine investigators will report on an effective way to predict if countershock immediately after ventricular fibrillation will help a patient or be detrimental. (Immediate Countershock after Prolonged Ventricular Fibrillation is Detrimental)

Synchronized electrical cardioversion to electively restore sinus rhythm can save time and money if done in the emergency department, according to a team from St. Luke's Hospital of Bethlehem, Pa.(Synchronized Emergency Department Cardioversion of Atrial Arrhythmias Saves Time, Money, and Resources)

Pediatric head trauma research

  • Emergency physicians are leading research to provide better treatments for traumatic brain injuries in children, which is the leading cause of death and disability among this age group in the United States. A University of Arizona team will report a drug therapy, used in traumatic brain injuries in children, effectively reduces pressure inside the skull that can occur when a victim's brain swells, and has no negative affects on other organs in child's body. (The Effect of Etomidate on Intracranial Pressure (ICP), Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) and Cerebral Perfusion Pressure (CPP) in Pediatric Patients with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury)

  • A Louisiana State University Health Science Center team will report on a new method to quickly and accurately determine whether children with minor head injuries need a computed tomography (CT Scan). This could ultimately reduce the number of CT Scans ordered and the time patients spend in the emergency department, according to the researchers. (The Use of Computed Tomography in Pediatric Patients with Minor Head Injury)

Patient safety in the emergency department

  • When emergency departments admit patients to the hospital, they recommend the level of care they should receive by assigning them to a bed in a particular unit, such as a general medical bed, or a bed in telemetry or in ICU. Researchers from Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago will report that unscheduled bed upgrades may be a valid method of identifying potential medical errors. Unscheduled bed upgrades occur, for example, when the emergency department recommends at admission that the patient be placed in a general medical bed, but the hospital later upgrades the patient to an ICU bed. Further investigation of these unscheduled upgrades may allow for identification of error mechanisms and allow development of interventions to reduce adverse patient outcomes. (Unscheduled Upgraded Medical Bed Status as a Marker for Medical Errors.)

Injury prevention and control research

  • A University of Kentucky College of Medicine team will report findings that show a state law is ineffective in preventing illegal use of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) on roadways in the state. Injury prevention activities need to focus on educating riders on the current laws that restrict where ATVs can be driven and require helmet usage, as well as instruction on the safe operation of ATVs. Current law must be better enforced and stricter legislation needs to be considered in order to effectively decrease morbidity and mortality, according to the researchers. (Analysis of Contributing Factors to All Terrain Vehicle Collisions on Roadways)

  • A team from Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., will report surprising trends from a review of intoxicated drivers entered into the Illinois Trauma Registry (ITR), between 1995 and 1998. Researchers will explain why the ITR can be used to identify trends in ethanol use by injured drivers and may support development and monitoring of injury prevention initiatives. (Ethanol Use By Drivers in the Illinois Trauma Registry)

Abdominal pain management

  • For decades, physicians withheld giving pain medicine for severe abdominal pain for fear it could mask the symptoms of serious surgical conditions such as appendicitis. This practice prolongs a patient's suffering while a physician searches for the cause of pain. A Harvard Medical School team reports that patients with abdominal pain can receive significant pain medication with no adverse affects on a physician's ability to conduct a physical examination or make a diagnosis. (Randomized, Double-Blinded Trial of Morphine vs. Saline in Emergency Department Patients with Undifferentiated Abdominal Pain: Effects of Analgesia Administration on Exam Findings and Diagnostic Accuracy)

Suicide at high altitudes

  • Teams from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Cornell University Medical Center will report early evidence that higher suicide death rates in the mountain region states may be related to the physiological effects of moderate altitude and not the usual risk factors of poverty, isolation, and psychiatrist availability. (Moderate Altitude Increases Suicide Deaths)

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For additional information about the meeting program and ACEP, visit the web site at www.ACEP.org. The site includes a searchable meeting program book and background material on emergency medicine issues and their impact on patients.

Credentialed media representatives may register in advance by contacting ACEP's Public Relations Department at 202-728-0610 ext. 3006.

To make a hotel reservation, call ExpoExchange at 800-424-5249 (U.S. or Canada) or 847-940-2155 (outside U.S. or Canada).

ACEP is a national medical society with nearly 23,000 members who specialize in emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to improving the quality of emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

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