Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

The Irony of being listed on BadBusiness dot org


 

Late entry 15:12 4-20-2017 – Badbusiness dot org does not appear to be a valid site for criticism of legitimate business problems.

Badbusiness dot org is a site that appears to be set up with the same goal as my blog, so it is ironic that their most recent article is about my blog (roguemedic.com). On their front page, they do state –
 

Please note that (badbusiness dot org) does not guarantee the authenticity or verifiability of complaints posted by its users.[1]

 

The person/people/business writing about me should be the focus of badbusiness dot org. The person/people/business behind the article appears to have three complaints. I will address the second complaint first, then the third, since these second complaint appears to be the reason for concluding the first.
 

This character will defame pharmaceutical companies online with no evidence or proof.[2]

 

The first irony of this complaint is that it is on a site set up to criticize bad business, but it is a complaint that I am criticizing bad business by someone defending the bad business of some pharmaceutical companies.

I am very critical of those who endanger patients with inadequately tested medications and/or with medications that have evidence of producing more harm than benefit.

The second irony is that I am accused of not providing evidence. I provide evidence. My critics provide excuses. The people, and companies, I criticize are the ones who do not provide evidence. If they did provide valid evidence, I would write about someone else.

Do you want to be a guinea pig for people who do not care enough to provide treatment that is safe? Do you want to be a guinea pig for people who do not care enough to provide treatment that works? Do you want snake oil?

I have been threatened with a law suit from SWAT Fuel, Inc. for writing that their product appears to be just another health food scam. I responded by challenging SWAT Fuel, Inc. to sue me and let the evidence speak in court. I provided links to evidence.[3],[4]

I have not heard anything in the six months since I responded. Apparently, SWAT Fuel, Inc. recognizes that the evidence supports my criticism. Maybe the lawyers for SWAT Fuel, Inc. probably were awaiting the final outcome of the Tobinick lawsuit.

The Tobinick lawsuit? I have criticized Dr. Edward Tobinick for doing the same thing SWAT Fuel does, only with a medical license. Dr. Tobinick is a doctor, but he is making claims that are not supported by valid evidence. Dr. Tobinick sued Dr. Steven Novella, Yale University, and Science-Based Medicine to stop valid criticism of Dr. Tobinick’s magical treatment.[5],[6],[7]

Dr. Tobinick appealed the decision against him, but his case was so bad, he was ordered to pay a significant part of Dr. Novella’s legal expenses.[8]

An apparent minion of Dr. Tobinick has accused me of many things, including being a terrorist for my criticism of Dr. Tobinick.[9],[10]

I also criticize acupuncture, homeopathy, Reiki, faith healing, and other alternative medicine for a lack of evidence of safety and a lack of evidence of benefit.

I provide evidence. My critics provide excuses.
 

The third complaint is that I aim to frighten, intimidate, and cause emotional distress to those who harm patients.

Based on what they claim, the goal of badbusiness dot org appears to be the same as mine –
 

Bad business postings are reports from your average consumers (our users) who are fed up with corporate bullies, and with overall BS. If it’s bad business, people oughta know.[11]

Why is badbusiness dot org posting a complaint by someone defending the bad business of some pharmaceutical companies whining about valid criticism?
 

What was the primary point from this defender of the bad business of some pharmaceutical companies?

1. I am accused of being an assholethe biggest asshole.

Gosh. Last month I was a terrorist, but now I am only an asshole. I never expected to please everyone, but I have aggressively criticized bad patient care and bad business. Our patients are more important than my reputation.

If that makes me an asshole, then I would rather be an asshole than defend bad patient care and/or defend bad business.

Why is badbusiness dot org providing a forum for companies upset by valid criticism?

PS – I attempted to comment, and post a link to this response, on the site. I received the following reply.
 

Your comment has been blocked because the blog owner has set their spam filter to not allow comments from users behind proxies.

If you are a regular commenter or you feel that your comment should not have been blocked, please contact the blog owner and ask them to modify this setting.

 

If resolving conflicts is part of their goal, preventing communication does not seem to be a reasonable approach.

Footnotes:

[1] Badbusiness dot org
homepage

[2] Timothy Noonan of RogueMedic.com is bad business
badbusiness dot org
By admin
March 24th, 2017
Article

[3] How to scam the police – SWAT Fuel
Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Rogue Medic
Article

[4] SWAT Fuel – Suing Me to Defend Their Scam
Thu, 06 Oct 2016
Rogue Medic
Article

[5] Dr. Edward Tobinick Sues Barbara Streisand – or something equally foolish
Thu, 24 Jul 2014
Rogue Medic
Article

[6] Tobinick Lawsuit Update – Justice Has Prevailed
Science-Based Medicine
sbmadmin
October 6, 2015
Article

[7] Tobinick v. Novella
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 9:14-CV-80781-ROSENBERG/BRANNON
Decision

[8] Edward Tobinick et al. v. Steven Novella et al.
Case number 15-14889
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Decision

[9] When Minions Attack
Sun, 26 Feb 2017
Rogue Medic
Article

[10] The Boy Who Cried Terrorist
Wed, 01 Mar 2017
Rogue Medic
Article

[11] Badbusiness dot org
homepage

.

The Boy Who Cried Terrorist

 
This is the latest comment from Frederick Blum in response to what I wrote about his absurd defense of Dr. Tobinick.[1].[2] As you can see, in labeling appropriate respect for patients as terrorism, Frederick Blum completely lacks perspective.
 

I think a more apt description of what you are is ” Rogue Terrorist ” . Forget ” Rogue Medic. ” It’s not really you. Think about it.[3]

 

Think like Frederick Blum?

That might be torture.

If you honestly think that I am a terrorist, turn me in.

Go ahead.

It may be even worse to not turn in a terrorist, than to treat patients with inadequately tested medications.
 

If you see something, say something 1
 

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”[4]

 

What do terrorists do?
 

You hide behind a cowardly mask exactly as terrorists do.[3]

 

Cowardly?

I have allowed Frederick Blum a forum to make baseless accusations.

I have responded with evidence.

I have not made threats.

Frederick Blum calls this cowardly?
 

You fabricate lies about people and assault them with ad hominem attacks, also exactly as terrorists do.[3]

 

Frederick Blum, provide some sort of evidence to support your imaginative accusations.

I have stated that Dr. Tobinick has failed to produce valid evidence of safety.

Do you have any evidence to show that this is not completely true?

I have stated that Dr. Tobinick has failed to produce valid evidence of efficacy.

Do you have any evidence to show that this is not completely true?

I have not lied.

I have criticized Dr. Tobinick for a failure to provide evidence of safety and efficacy. Using safe and effective treatments is an important part of what separates ethical medical practice from alternative medicine.

If people conclude that Dr. Tobinick is unethical because of what I have written, that is only reasonable.

Neither of you have provided even an iota to suggest any other conclusion.

By the way, have terrorists switched from killing people to using honest criticism? I wish it were so.
 

Really, you’re just another unremarkable terrorist.[3]

 

Is your unremarkable remark intentionally ironic?
 

You should change your anonymous cowardly handle to ” Rogue Terrorist. ” At least in doing so you would be honest about yourself.[1]

 

Without valid evidence of safety, we must conclude that Dr. Tobinick cannot honestly demonstrate safety.

Without valid evidence of benefit, we must conclude that Dr. Tobinick cannot honestly demonstrate any benefit.

If Dr. Tobinick’s treatment is safe and effective, why hide the evidence?

Footnotes:

[1] Dr. Edward Tobinick Sues Barbara Streisand – or something equally foolish
Thu, 24 Jul 2014
Rogue Medic
Article

[2] When Minions Attack
Sun, 26 Feb 2017
Rogue Medic
Article

[3] The comment where Blum cried Terrorist
comment on Dr. Edward Tobinick Sues Barbara Streisand – or something equally foolish
Frederick Blum
Comment

[4] 1984
George Orwell
Free Full Text from The University of Adelaide Library

.

When Minions Attack

Minion vampire 1a
Image credit.
 

In the comments to Dr. Edward Tobinick Sues Barbara Streisand – or something equally foolish,[1] Frederick Blum (sometimes Frederick S. Blum) states that he does not like my criticism of Dr. Edward Tobinick for using inadequately tested treatment, on patients.
 

The fact that you’ve censored my comments speaks volumes about the kind of person you are, ” Rogue Medic.”[2]

 

I have not censored Frederick Blum’s comments. All comments are moderated. Not all spam is caught by the spam filter.

Since Frederick Blum’s earlier, similarly absurd, comment was approved and appeared in the comments hours before this comment, what leads Frederick Blum to conclude that this is censorship?
 

What are you afraid of being found out for, that you’re no more than a charlatan ?[2]

 

You chose to use the word charlatan. Since the topic is Dr. Tobinick, is this use of charlatan a Freudian slip?
 

Frederick Blum also obsesses about my use of a pseudonym, although I provide links to valid evidence and Frederick Blum only makes excuses to distract from the absence of valid evidence for Dr. Tobinick’s treatment.

Frederick Blum complains that it is wrong to criticize Dr. Tobinick for his failure to post valid evidence, since Dr. Tobinick uses his real name.

Is valid evidence less valid when I use a pseudonym?

No.

This gullibility is one of the primary reasons scams are so successful.

Bernie Madoff, perhaps the biggest thief of all time, had people, like Frederick Blum, defending his business. A lot of people trusted that con man for the same reason.

What was Bernie Madoff’s motto?
 

Also to his advantage, Madoff was adept at both selfpromotion and client relations. His corporate slogan, “The Owner’s Name Is on the Door,” would reinforce his managerial image, as well as provide his growing list of wealthy clients with a reassuring declaration—a personal acknowledgement of his fiduciary responsibility to them.[3]

 

Is Dr. Tobinick a medical, and much more dangerous, version of Bernie Madoff? Is Dr. Tobinick’s name on the door just a confidence gimmick?
 

You can’t hide the truth about yourself forever. Eventually it is seen for what it really is – the truth.[2]

 

We would be able to determine the truth about Dr. Tobinick, if Dr. Tobinick would adequately test his treatment.

Is the treatment safe, as Dr. Tobinick uses it?

Is the treatment better than a placebo, as Dr. Tobinick uses it?

Is the treatment as good as any adequately tested treatments, as Dr. Tobinick uses it?

The only suppression of the truth is from Dr. Tobinick and his worshipers, such as Frederick Blum.

What is the treatment?
 

The list of conditions for which Tobinick claims or even has patented use of Enbrel include Alzheimer’s, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, carpal tunnel syndrome, brain tumor, spinal cord injury, and back pain. That quite impressive for a doctor who isn’t even a neurologist. Tobinick is an internist who, prior to curing a long list of neurological diseases, specialized in laser hair removal.[4]

 

Why doesn’t everyone go to a laser hair removal specialist for inadequately tested treatments?

I am sure that the FDA and the insurance companies are being unreasonable in wanting evidence of safety and efficacy.
 

And, the truth is that you have devised a falsified and libelous campaign against someone who is not only innocent but a truly great medical scientist with a proven honest intelligence that surpasses almost everybody else in medicine today, Dr. Edward Tobinick, only to further your own loathsome self serving agenda.[2]

A proven honest intelligence? Where did you come up with that nonsense? If an intelligent person uses a dangerous treatment, the treatment is still dangerous.

Go ahead. I dare you, Frederick Blum. Stop making excuses and provide evidence to back up your unsupportable claims.

Footnotes:

[1] Dr. Edward Tobinick Sues Barbara Streisand – or something equally foolish
Thu, 24 Jul 2014
Rogue Medic
Article

[2] Censorship comment by Frederick Blum
comment

[3] Catastrophe: The Story of Bernard L. Madoff, the Man Who Swindled the World
Deborah Strober & Gerald Strober
Kindle Locations 1077-1079
Phoenix Books, Inc.

From the website of Bernie Madoff – http://www.madoff.com on December 15, 2008. In Appendix A (Kindle Locations 2760-2765)
 

The Owner’s Name is on the Door

In an era of faceless organizations owned by other equally faceless organizations, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC harks back to an earlier era in the financial world: The owner’s name is on the door. Clients know that Bernard Madoff has a personal interest in maintaining the unblemished record of value, fair-dealing, and high ethical standards that has always been the firm’s hallmark.

 

[4] Enbrel for Stroke and Alzheimer’s
Science-Based Medicine
Steven Novella
May 8, 2013
Article

.

Texas bill would let firefighters, EMTs carry firearms

 

There is a bill in Texas to require employers to allow EMS personnel to carry guns on the job.
 

“I would be in favor of leaving guns in the hands of police officers,” Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum said. “We have a specific mission to save lives and property, and I think carrying a firearm would cross the line in that regard.” [1]

 

What is the possible benefit?

As I have written about this before –

When would armed EMS make any difference?

Other than those times it makes things worse, when would it make a difference?
 

Below, Dara O’Briain spends a minute on the frustration of trying to explain to people, who don’t understand statistics, that crime rates are definitely going down. Following that, I provide evidence.
 


 

And they go, but the fear of crime is rising.

Well, so what? Zombies are at an all time low, but the fear of zombies could be incredibly high.

 

Here is the murder rate in America from 1960 to 2012 (the most recent data available from the FBI when I made the graph for Thanksgiving in 2015). The 2012 murder rate was 4.7 per 100,000. 2013 and 2014 were lower, both at 4.5 per 100,000.
 

US Murder Rate - 1960 - 2014
 

This is the murder rate in Canada compared with the murder rate in America and whether the death penalty has an effect on either. In the chart, the murder rate of Canada is on a scale that is tripled to show similar changes year to year. This chart is a decade old, but the murder rate in the US and Canada continued to drop in the newer data.
 

Murder rates US vs Canada 1950 - 2005 aa
Source: John J. Donohue III, Justin Wolfers, Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate, Discussion Paper No. 1949 (January 2006) available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=870312.
 

What about in the Good Ol’ Days, when everything was so much better than now?
 

Homicide rates (per 100,000 people) 14th - 20th centuries - Millennium by Ian Mortimer a
 

In the Good Ol’ Days, things were not good and few people lived long enough to get old.
 

I regularly criticize What if . . . ? fear mongering.

This is one of the greatest harms of EMS. We need to stop this dependence on scaring people with stories of monsters in closets. We need to deal with reality.

This fear mongering is lowering ourselves to the level of alternative medicine.
 

What will happen the first time someone in EMS shoots someone, fires a gun, points a gun at someone, or just brandishes a gun?

Was it justified?

What will the repercussions be?

When would any outcome have been better if EMS carried guns?

How would it have been better?

Assume that only 10% of the people in EMS who will carry guns on the job are below average (yes, that means that 90% are above average). How much trouble can that 10% cause?

Assume that only 1% are below average. How much trouble can that 1% cause with below average decisions?

There is nothing in this bill to prevent that 1% from carrying on every call. The carry license is both the floor and the ceiling for qualification for armed EMS.[2]
 

Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing we can do, but some people need to do something, even though there is no reason to expect it to do any good. This is another case of doing something just to do something.

If we are going to change how we do things, we should insist on thorough documentation of every intervention, just as we should for any other EMS intervention. The bill does not mention any kind of tracking of the effects of this legislation.[2]
 

Can employers require training/skills verification? Only possession of a valid carry license is mentioned. No further skill requirement is mentioned in the bill.[2]

What will happen to the insurance rates for the employer? Insurance companies are not looking to donate money to make EMS feel good.

Will people leave EMS in order to get away from partners they don’t trust with guns? How many do that now for bad driving?

Will we end up with more people who couldn’t get onto the police force, because lights and sirens and guns is better than lights and sirens?

Will EMS providers in Texas be told that this is a replacement for the raise they were going to get?

If some people feel unsafe without their guns, because they mistakenly believe that the murder rate is increasing, when it is definitely dropping, in what other ways are they making bad decisions? Will giving the confused fear of rising crime people guns act as a security blanket, so that they will feel safer and focus on their patients? Or will the confused fear of rising crime people use the guns to act on some other confusion? It probably won’t be that simple.
 

PS – Is this a Constitutional issue?

Employers are permitted to limit some other important civil rights, such as speech, during work hours. We can always choose to work in jobs that permit us to be armed on the job. Security guard, police officer, corrections officer

Of course corrections officers have to carry guns. They are surrounded by inmates.

Actually, corrections officers do not carry guns when they are around inmates. It seems that introducing a gun into that environment is not considered a good idea.

Footnotes:

[1] Texas bill would let firefighters, EMTs carry firearms – The bill would implement a statewide policy requiring jurisdictions to allow responders to carry while on duty
EMS1.com
Feb 14, 2017
By EMS1 Staff
Article

[2] Texas House Bill 982
Bill Text: TX HB982 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Introduced
TX State Legislature page for text of HB982

.

Read ‘The Book That Changed America’ for Darwin Day 2017

Book that Changed America - cover 1
 

Arriving just before the Civil War, On the Origin of Species was a godsend for abolitionists in America. Charles Darwin provided evidence that we are all the same in the eyes of science. Given that we are equals, should we treat other humans as less than ? This is part of what Randall Fuller writes about in the recently published The Book That Changed America: How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation.

Darwin provided scientific evidence for a common origin, which gave a scientific argument to those criticizing slavery. How is it moral to enslave other humans? Well, the Bible repeatedly endorses slavery and Jesus never criticized slavery. Jesus actually used slavery as an analogy for belief in God, with believers as slaves and the slave owners as God.

Contrariwise, those who focused on the good parts of the Bible and avoided the bad parts, used Darwin’s book as the basis for advocating for a more moral approach to our fellow humans. Those who read the Bible differently from the advocates of slavery saw that they were not along. Science also opposed the moral abyss of slavery.

Not to spoil the ending, but the abolitionists were not successful at reasoning with those in the Bible Belt to end slavery in America. We ended up with over 600,000 Americans dead over different interpretations of the Bible on how to treat humans.

Upton Sinclair wrote about a similar, and perpetual, problem. It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

While science is not the best at providing us with morality, science is great at exposing the dishonesty of the excuses made in defense of immorality. And science keeps improving.

Suppose that I think that I am better than they are. Who are they? They are any group that is being selected for second class, or third class, treatment. It doesn’t matter what the group is, this kind of justification is not supported by science.

Picking on the weak is unlikely to be popular in the long term. Blaming this bad behavior on my personal interpretation of the desires of my God (who just happens to think like me) is eventually going to expose my immorality. The contradiction of promoting immoral actions, while blaming God, eventually exposes itself.

Read The Book That Changed America: How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation to see why abolitionists recognized On the Origin of Species as a godsend.

.

Hundreds of Medical Groups Send a Vaccine Safety Letter to the President

autism-organic
Image credit
 

The rate of autism diagnosis has increased dramatically as people eat more organic food, but that does not mean that organic food causes autism. The way to find out is to study this.

Researchers have looked for any reason to believe that vaccines, or vaccine ingredients, cause autism. The results are the same, regardless of whether the study is in America, Europe, Asia, . . . , and regardless of whether the study is run by private organizations, governments, corporations, or universities.[1]

For example, does thimerosal cause autism? Here is just one study looking for causation. There isn’t even a correlation.
 

CONCLUSIONS:
The discontinuation of thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark in 1992 was followed by an increase in the incidence of autism. Our ecological data do not support a correlation between thimerosal-containing vaccines and the incidence of autism.
[2]

 

If thimerosal causes autism, why does the rate of diagnosis of autism continue to increase after the removal of thimerosal?
 

Hundreds of medical organizations sent a letter to President Trump in an attempt to get the president to look at the evidence, rather than listen to the scientifically naive activists promoting conspiracy theories.
 

On behalf of organizations representing families, providers, researchers, patients, and consumers, we write to express our unequivocal support for the safety of vaccines.[3]

 

Unequivocal support means that they are completely confident that vaccines are safe, not that vaccines are 100% safe, Nothing is 100% safe, so demanding for 100% safety is an argument against everything – even breathing isn’t 100% safe.
 

Globally, vaccines prevent the deaths of roughly 2.5 million children per year.1 And, data shows that just for children born in the United States in 2009, routine childhood immunizations will prevent approximately 42,000 early deaths and 20 million cases of disease with savings of more than $82 billion in societal costs.2 [3]

 

Scare stories discourage us from doing what is best for our children.
 

RESULTS:
A greater than 92% decline in cases and a 99% or greater decline in deaths due to diseases prevented by vaccines recommended before 1980 were shown for diphtheria, mumps, pertussis, and tetanus. Endemic transmission of poliovirus and measles and rubella viruses has been eliminated in the United States; smallpox has been eradicated worldwide. Declines were 80% or greater for cases and deaths of most vaccine-preventable diseases targeted since 1980 including hepatitis A, acute hepatitis B, Hib, and varicella. Declines in cases and deaths of invasive S pneumoniae were 34% and 25%, respectively.
[4]

 

Polio would have been eradicated by now, if it weren’t for the opposition of anti-vaxers.

Should we listen to those who, although they may mean well, do not understand what they are doing, or should we listen to doctors?

Doctors vaccinate themselves and their children because they understand that vaccines are safe and vaccines work.

Footnotes:

[1] 75 studies that show no link between vaccines and autism UPDATED to 107
Just the Vax
Friday, March 7, 2014
Edited to fix links and to add more studies for a new total of 107 on 11 March 2014
Guest blog, compiled by Allison Hagood, Luci Baldwin, Kathy McGrath and Nathan Boonstra and originally published on the “Your Baby’s Best Shot” Facebook page. I am grateful for the permission to repost!
List of studies

[2] Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism: negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data.
Madsen KM, Lauritsen MB, Pedersen CB, Thorsen P, Plesner AM, Andersen PH, Mortensen PB.
Pediatrics. 2003 Sep;112(3 Pt 1):604-6.
PMID: 12949291

[3] Dear Mr. President:
February 7, 2017
AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)
Letter in PDF format

[4] Historical comparisons of morbidity and mortality for vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States.
Roush SW, Murphy TV; Vaccine-Preventable Disease Table Working Group..
JAMA. 2007 Nov 14;298(18):2155-63.
PMID: 18000199

Free Full Text from JAMA

.

2018 ACLS/PALS/NRP – AHA-ILCOR Guideline questions are being reviewed until 02-21-2017

AHA2015 - 2018
 

In preparation for the 2018 ACLS/PALS/NRP/CPR Guidelines (maybe 2017) the AHA (American Heart Association) and ILCOR (the International Liaison Committee On Resuscitation) are reviewing the questions they ask to examine the evidence, or the lack of evidence, on various interventions addressed by the guidelines for the:
 

First Aid Task Force (Public comment on PICO prioritization has recently closed. PICO categorization public comment period was open from October 10 to 24, 2016)

Advanced Life Support Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 21st, 2017!)

Basic Life Support Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 21st, 2017!)

Pediatric Life Support Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 21st, 2017!)

Education, Implementation and Teams Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 21st, 2017!)​

Neonatal Life Support Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 22nd, 2017!)[1]

 

Some questions are obvious and will be continued, such as 428. This is the review of antiarrhythmic drugs for cardiac arrest. Recent research shows no benefit to patients from amiodarone, or lidocaine.[2]

What do the 2015 ACLS Guidelines recommend?
 

Amiodarone may be considered for VF/pVT that is unresponsive to CPR, defibrillation, and a vasopressor therapy (Class IIb, LOE B-R).

Lidocaine may be considered as an alternative to amiodarone for VF/pVT that is unresponsive to CPR, defibrillation, and vasopressor therapy (Class IIb, LOE C-LD).[3]

 

Outside of controlled trials that are large enough to provide useful answers, amiodarone and lidocaine have no place in the treatment of cardiac arrest.
 

Much less obvious is 808, the suggestion that we should ventilate patients in the absence of evidence of benefit from ventilation – at least there is no evidence of benefit for the patient. Hands-only CPR seems to annoy doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, . . . .

Why are we still ventilating adult cardiac arrest patients with cardiac causes of their cardiac arrest in the absence of evidence of safety and in the absence of evidence of benefit?
 

Why is there any question about 788? Results from Paramedic2 should be available next year. Is epinephrine in cardiac arrest better than a placebo?[4]

This is the first time we will have valid evidence to start to decide what to do with a treatment we have been using for over half a century based on the weakest of evidence. Paramedic2 is unlikely to answer many questions, such as which cardiac arrest patients should receive epinephrine and which should not, but it will be a start.
 

Then there is 464Drugs for monomorphic wide complex tachycardia. Considering the recent publication of PROCAMIO and the absence of discussion of tachycardia and bradycardia in the 2015 Guidelines, it is bizarre that this is among the questions recommended for elimination. Since there was no recommendation on treatment of ventricular tachycardia in the 2015 ACLS Guidelines, the recommendation from 2010 continues unchanged.

What did PROCAMIO show? If we give a high enough dose of amiodarone to actually try to treat the arrhythmia, major adverse cardiac events are more common than any benefit.[5]

Are we using amiodarone just to make stable ventricular tachycardia unstable?

Procainamide is safer and more effective.

Cardioversion is safer and more effective.

Adenosine is safer and probably more effective.[6]

Doing nothing is safer and only slightly less effective.

What about blood-letting for stable ventricular tachycardia?

Blood-letting is probably safer and maybe just as effective as amiodarone.[7]

Footnotes:

[1] ILCOR Continuous Evidence Evaluation
AHA (American Heart Association) and ILCOR (the International Liaison Committee On Resuscitation)
ILCOR 2016-2017 PICO categorization and prioritization public comment page

[2] Amiodarone, Lidocaine, or Placebo in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.
Kudenchuk PJ, Brown SP, Daya M, Rea T, Nichol G, Morrison LJ, Leroux B, Vaillancourt C, Wittwer L, Callaway CW, Christenson J, Egan D, Ornato JP, Weisfeldt ML, Stiell IG, Idris AH, Aufderheide TP, Dunford JV, Colella MR, Vilke GM, Brienza AM, Desvigne-Nickens P, Gray PC, Gray R, Seals N, Straight R, Dorian P; Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Investigators..
N Engl J Med. 2016 May 5;374(18):1711-22. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1514204.
PMID: 27043165

Free Full Text from NEJM

[3] 2015 Recommendations—Updated
Part 7: Adult Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
2015 American Heart Association Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
2015 Recommendations—Updated

[4] Paramedic2 – The Adrenaline Trial
Warwick Medical School
About

[5] Randomized comparison of intravenous procainamide vs. intravenous amiodarone for the acute treatment of tolerated wide QRS tachycardia: the PROCAMIO study.
Ortiz M, Martín A, Arribas F, Coll-Vinent B, Del Arco C, Peinado R, Almendral J; PROCAMIO Study Investigators.
Eur Heart J. 2016 Jun 28. pii: ehw230. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 27354046
 

The primary outcome, major adverse cardiac events within 40 minutes of infusion initiation, for procainamide vs. amiodarone, was 9% vs. 41%, p = 0.006. Severe hypotension or symptoms requiring immediate direct current cardioversion (DCCV) occurred in 6.3% vs. 31.0%. Results were similar in patients with structural heart disease (n = 49).

 

[6] Adenosine for wide-complex tachycardia – diagnostic?
Thu, 23 Aug 2012
Rogue Medic
Article

[7] Blood-Letting
Br Med J.
1871 March 18; 1(533): 283–291.
PMCID: PMC2260507
 

Physicians observed of old, and continued to observe for many centuries, the following facts concerning blood-letting.

1. It gave relief to pain. . . . .

2. It diminished swelling. . . . .

3. It diminished local redness or congestion. . . . .

4. For a short time after bleeding, either local or general, abnormal heat was sensibly diminished.

5. After bleeding, spasms ceased, . . . .

6. If the blood could be made to run, patients were roused up suddenly from the apparent death of coma. (This was puzzling to those who regarded spasm and paralysis as opposite states; but it showed the catholic applicability of the remedy.)

7. Natural (wrongly termed ” accidental”) hacmorrhages were observed sometimes to end disease. . . . .

8. . . . venesection would cause hamorrhages to cease.

 

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Does use of Lights and Sirens save lives?

AmboLights
 

A recent Fire Chief Magazine and the current JEMS have some articles on the use of lights and sirens and the effect on patient outcomes. Doug Wolfberg, one of the EMS lawyers who might be trying to defend your choice on use of lights and sirens, states –
 

Few cows are more sacred in fire service based EMS than the ones that flash, wail and yelp. The use of emergency lights and sirens is an inseparable part of everyday EMS life.[1]

 

and –
 

Yet when we look at the actual evidence, a few things become apparent about RLS use. First, it’s proven to be dangerous. Second, it’s not proven to be beneficial.[2]

 

In another article, several of the top medical directors in the country state –
 

Unlike fire emergencies, which can grow exponentially and spread quickly, only a small subset of medical emergencies is truly time sensitive. Most don’t dramatically worsen in the course of a very few minutes, and they don’t spread from person to person.[3]

 

In rare cases, such as those where we are not able to control bleeding, or breathing, and the hospital is close enough that the patient won’t be dead by the time we get there, does use of lights and sirens save lives? In those rare cases? Sometimes.

Wouldn’t it be better to improve the quality of the people treating these patients, rather than increase the speed of transport?

When is the last time you transported a patient to the emergency department for something that needed to be done immediately to save the life of the patient?

Why not do that before transport?

Was it out of your scope of practice, did you not know what was going on, did you not feel comfortable performing the skill, could you not make up your mind about what to do, . . .?

Can’t place an endotraceal tube successfully? Use an LMA (Laryngeal Mask Airway), King Airway, BVM (Bag Valve Mask or resuscitator bag), stimulate the patient to breathe for himself, . . .

Can’t place an IV successfully? The IV is not a life line, but you can place an IO (IntraOssesous) line, apply direct pressure to bleeding, lay the patient flat (Trendelenberg does not improve things for the patient, although it might make you feel like you are doing something good), consider IM (IntraMuscular) or IN (IntraNasal) administration of medication, . . .

But it is an emergency!
 

We used to drive cardiac arrests to the hospital quickly, because we thought that was better.

We were wrong. If we do not resuscitate people prior to arrival at the hospital, they will probably stay dead. Driving fast just increases the odds that we will be as dead as the patient.

There has never been any good evidence to support driving fast.

We need to develop a better understanding of the treatment we provide. We need to provide better assessments (and continue to assess). We need to provide appropriate treatment on scene prior to transport. We need to rush less.
 

Do you believe in frequent lights and sirens transport?

Here is a dare for you.

Keep track of the times you transport with lights and sirens (these should be sentinel events) and document the actual life saving treatment provided in the emergency department in the first 10 minutes.

Keep track of this for a month, or a year.

Do you have anything?

Was it really something that saved the patient’s life?

If you do come up with something, does it amount to more than 1% of lights and sirens transports?

If we have almost always beenwrong about what is going on, should we be endangering everyone on the road to cover for our ignorance?

Footnotes:

[1] Why running lights and sirens is dangerous
Fire Chief
June 5, 2016
By Douglas M. Wolfberg, Esq.
Article

[2] Pro Bono: EMS Use of Red Lights and Siren Offers High Risk, Little Reward
JEMS
Wed, Feb 1, 2017
Doug Wolfberg
Article

[3] The Case Against EMS Red Lights and Siren Responses
JEMS
Wed, Feb 1, 2017
S. Marshal Isaacs, MD, FACEP, FAEMS , Carla Cash, MD , Osama Antar, MD , Raymond L. Fowler, MD, FACEP, DABEMS
Article

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