Letter From America #4

Days 2 and 3 of essentials 2010 have come and gone. It was no surprise to me, nor to other EMCrit fanatics, that Scott Weingart, MD stole the show with his talks on (p)re-oxygenation; delayed sequence intubation, and post-arrest care. More detailed information on these topics be found on EMCrit – go there now! Scott’s lecture style worked incredibly well in the big conference arena – it seemed like a one on one conversation and his minimalist slideshow was high impact.

An entertaining highlight at the end of the second day was the mock trial led by Bouncebacks author Michael B Weinstock, MD. Mel Herbert, MD was the presiding Judge and amply demonstrated that his talents are wasted…in medicine; Billy Mallon on the stand was always going to be a handful, and Scott Weingart was disturbingly convincing as the heart-broken defendant doc!

Stuart Swadron, MD led a session on neurology. His gift of finding meaningful simplicity amid confusing complexity put paid to TIA, headaches and vertigo. David Williams, MD continued Jerry Hoffman’s noble crusade against that distracting crock of sh!t therapy called thrombolysis for stroke. It’s far more important to remember the basics and do them well — prevent the things that kill like aspiration, DVT and urosepsis.

Billy Mallon, MD told us why children ARE small adults and started at least two riots — one involving a mob of irate pediatricians and the other a riot of laughter from the audience! Judging from Egerton Y Davis IV’s frantic note-taking I wouldn’t be surprised to see an UCEM policy statement on this very issue in the near future.

The big event of day 2 was big Jim Cooper From Royal Perth Hospital taking out the prize of free iPad. One things for sure, Mel won’t be asking Jim if his first relations with the opposite sex involved a sheep anytime soon…

Meanwhile ZDoggMD and the rest of the Australian contingent in San Francisco have been making their mark as expected, though some were quite camera shy…


Whereas others tended to work the camera at every opportunity…


It’s safe to say the whole of San Francisco have been amazed by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Australian-trained emergency physician, as exemplified by this demonstration of the construction and employment of the emergency bra:


Day 3 of essentials: Amal Mattu, MD was in the house. Amal is the archetypal emergency medicine educator and there was no one better to give the low down on state-of-the-art emergency cardiology. Other sessions focussed on some of LITFL’s favourite topics: eyes and orthopedics.

Amul Mattu MD …On Fire

Also, Mel took up the task of summarizing the new ACLS guidelines, which we’ve also done at LITFL

The summary of his summary might be ‘it’s all 95% bulls$%t”.

On that note, I’ll sign off for the day…

Mel Herbert loves his Cream Puffs
Further Reading

Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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