Trust the Process

“Trust the process” – a promise that our assistant Program Director (PD), Jen Leppard, makes on our first day of the EM year. I am new here, and I am nervous. But, as I walk into the ED, this feeling quickly vanishes, as I am reminded of what drew me to Ottawa in the first place – the teaching. Throughout […]

The Status on Status: Management of Status Epilepticus

Status epilepticus (SE) is considered one of the most common neurological emergencies with an estimated incidence of 20 cases/100,000 people worldwide. Just the facts The distribution is bimodal, peaking in patients <1 and >60 years old.  In children, the cause is predominantly from febrile illnesses, with or without infection, and in adults it is largely secondary to acute damage from […]

What a headache: Updates on Migraine Management

Migraine headaches are not a benign disease – they have a significant impact on quality of life, ability to function, and pose a considerable economic and societal burden. Prevalence tends to peak during peoples’ period of highest productivity.  According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) update on Global Burden of Disease (2004), a severe migraine is considered to be as disabling […]

Complications of Assisted Reproductive Technology

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is an evolving field with many therapies that have a common goal: to maximize the chance of pregnancy while minimizing the risk of multiple gestations. As the Canadian infertility rate approaches 15%, the use of ART is steadily increasing (1). In fact, 1-4% of all newborns in industrialized nations are conceived with assisted reproductive technology (2). […]

Let’s talk about some drugs

Here, we seek to explore some controversial, poorly known, or irrelevant drugs in medicine in a menagerie of drug cocktails. 1. What drugs best treat SVT? A patient presents with the following rhythm strip, they’re totally stable, on no medications and with no significant medical problems. Take a minute, think about how you are going to treat it. Thought about […]

Anxiety, Depression and Everything in Between

In the past 5-10 years we have seen a significant increase in mental health-related complaints in the Emergency Department (ED), and during COVID this is especially noticeable. Historically, we’ve classically been taught to focus on performing safety assessments, and as a result, we don’t often end up doing anything helpful for these patients, or we end up consulting psychiatry for […]

Pulmonary Embolism in Pregnancy: Diagnostic Dilemmas

Epidemiology of pulmonary embolism in pregnancy The rate of pulmonary embolism (PE) in pregnancy is 5.4 per 10 000 pregnancies. This is 5x the risk of the general non-pregnant female population The rates of venous thromboembolism change throughout pregnancy: Antepartum: 5.4 per 10 000 Peripartum: 7.2 per 10 000 Postpartum: 4.3 per 10 000 This leads to 0.96 deaths per 100 […]