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November 22, 2022

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  • ED nurses vulnerable during chemical exposure incident

    (Editor's note: We sent an e-mail alert about the recent incident of chemical exposure at EDs in the St. Louis area. If you didn't receive it, we don't have your e-mail address. Please contact customer service at [email protected] or (800) 688-2421 so you won't miss out on future alerts.]
  • Likely chem exposure? Do this immediately

    Although ED nurses at Saint Louis University Hospital didn't wind up caring for victims of a recent chemical exposure directly the only patient they received went directly to the intensive care unit nurses did the following to prepare for patients:
  • ED nurses attend decon skills camp

    Almost the entire ED staff at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul, MN, just went through a contamination recognition "skills camp" given by Joan Somes, PhD, MSN, RN, CEN, FAEN, ED educator. Somes covered signs and symptoms of possible contamination, how to decontaminate patients, and how to route them through the hospital.
  • See or hear this? Suspect exposure

    After ED nurses received an emergency medical services call of an "asthma attack" in a pregnant woman, suddenly multiple patients arrived in respiratory distress. It turned out that someone had sprayed pepper spray in a nightclub.
  • Follow these steps if decon is needed

    Patients with chemical exposure "should be quarantined from the rest of the department, medically stabilized, and decontaminated," says Theresa Patrick, RN, BSN, clinical resource nurse for the ED at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Patrick gives these tips:
  • EDs were ready during Republican convention

    Police officers spraying pepper gas at protesters. Anarchists throwing urine at police officers. Worrying about the possibility of food served at parties stored at the wrong temperatures causing food poisoning. Filling prescriptions on the fly for out-of-town delegates.
  • Is trauma self-inflicted? You can do these 3 things

    (Editor's note: This is the third of a three-part series on trauma care in the ED. This story covers self-inflicted trauma. Previous issues covered neurological assessment of children involved in motor vehicle accidents and violence-related trauma.)
  • Take these steps if you suspect pericarditis

    If a patient presents with sharp, stabbing chest pain, this doesn't necessarily mean a myocardial infarction. Your patient might have pericarditis, which can be life-threatening if myocarditis or cardiac tamponade develops.
  • What to look for on your patient's EKG

    There are two distinct differences seen on an electrocardiogram (EKG) that can tell you whether your patient has an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or pericarditis, says Dee Fontana, RN, MSN, ACNP-BC, ED nurse manager and nurse practitioner at University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago.
  • 'Clock' form scores 100% compliance for pneumonia

    More than 1.2 million Americans were hospitalized for pneumonia in 2006, with 71% of those cases admitted through the ED, according to a new analysis using data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.
  • Unlikely symptoms just might be pneumonia

    An elderly man says he's "not quite himself." Would you suspect pneumonia if this was your patient's only symptom? Even if your patient doesn't have a respiratory complaint, that does not mean they do not have pneumonia, says Cheryl Webber, RN, MS, CEN, nurse manager of the ED at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
  • You now have 2 extra hours for antibiotics

    In 2004, The Joint Commission issued a standard requiring that ED patients be given an antibiotic within four hours of presentation if they are discharged with a diagnosis of pneumonia. As of October 2007, the time frame has since been increased to six hours. Also, The Joint Commission is allowing EDs to document "diagnostic uncertainty" to indicate that the diagnosis of pneumonia was not clear at the time of the patient's arrival in the ED.
  • Steps to take immediately in order to treat pneumonia

    When assessing whether a pneumonia patient's condition may be life-threatening, begin with the "A, B, C, Ds," says Amanda Person, RN, an ED nurse at Methodist North Hospital in Memphis, TN:
  • Do this if you suspect life-threatening condition

    As soon as the triage nurse suspects life-threatening pneumonia, the ED nurse stops his or her assessment, moves the patient to a treatment room, and notifies the ED physician, says Amanda Person, RN, an ED nurse at Methodist North Hospital in Memphis, TN.