Displaying all 15 publications

  1. Seak CJ, Ng CJ, Yen DH, Wong YC, Hsu KH, Seak JC, et al.
    Am J Emerg Med, 2014 Dec;32(12):1481-4.
    PMID: 25308825 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2014.09.011
    This study aims to evaluate the performance of Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS II), the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score, and the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score for predicting illness severity and the mortality of adult hepatic portal venous gas (HPVG) patients presenting to the emergency department (ED). This will assist emergency physicians in risk stratification.
  2. Seak CJ, Hsu KH, Wong YC, Ng CJ, Yen DH, Seak JC, et al.
    Am J Emerg Med, 2014 Sep;32(9):972-5.
    PMID: 25043627 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2014.05.016
    This study aimed to investigate the prognostic factors of adult patients with hepatic portal venous gas (HPVG) in the emergency department (ED) to facilitate clinical decision making by emergency physicians.
  3. Seak CJ, Goh ZNL, Wong AC, Seak JC, Seak CK
    Medicine (Baltimore), 2019 Sep;98(38):e17229.
    PMID: 31567985 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000017229
    RATIONALE: Abdominal pain in pregnancy represents a demanding diagnostic challenge in the emergency department (ED) due to the extensive list of differential diagnoses to be considered, coupled with the possibility of each disease having nonclassical, atypical signs and symptoms, resultant from the patient's pregnant state. Additionally, emergency physicians (EPs) face limitations on investigative imaging modalities because of the need to minimize fetal radiation exposure. EPs have to tackle this diagnostic challenge while performing a balancing act to maximize both maternal and fetal outcomes in a time-sensitive manner, becauser any delays in decision-making at the ED may threaten the safety of mother and child. Two common causes of abdominal pain in pregnancy presenting to the ED are acute appendicitis and ectopic pregnancy. The latter is almost always diagnosed by 10 weeks of gestation. Here, we report an extremely rare case of unilateral live spontaneous twin tubal ectopic pregnancy presenting past 12 weeks of gestation, diagnosed after magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen.

    PATIENT CONCERNS: A 37-year-old gravida 2 para 1 at 12 weeks and 6 days of gestation presented to our ED with a 2-day history of right iliac fossa pain, not associated with vaginal bleeding, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. On examination, she was tachycardic (pulse rate 124 beats/min) and hypertensive (blood pressure 142/88 mm Hg). There was marked tenderness and guarding at the lower abdomen.

    DIAGNOSES: Blood investigations were unremarkable, while abdominal ultrasonography found a live twin gestation with foetal heartbeats of 185 and 180 beats/min. MRI of the abdomen revealed an empty uterine cavity; 2 amniotic sacs and fetuses of diameter 10 cm, and a single placenta were noted in the right uterine adnexa. The patient was diagnosed with right live monochorionic diamniotic twin tubal pregnancy.

    INTERVENTION: Our patient underwent emergency laparoscopic right salpingectomy.

    OUTCOMES: The operation was successful and her postoperative care remained uneventful up to discharge.

    LESSONS: Ectopic pregnancy cannot be ruled out based on prior normal antenatal examinations and gestational age of >10 weeks. EPs should not hesitate to order MRI scans for further evaluation if ultrasonography and laboratory findings are equivocal.

  4. Goh ZNL, Seak JC, Seak CK, Wu CT, Seak CJ
    Medicine (Baltimore), 2019 Aug;98(31):e16645.
    PMID: 31374036 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016645
    RATIONALE: Abdominal aortic aneurysm is an extremely rare cause of deep vein thrombosis. Here we report an elderly gentleman who presented with deep vein thrombosis and was found to have concomitant abdominal aortic aneurysm upon ultrasonographic screening. It illustrates the possibility of such an aetiology, and the importance of screening for such aneurysms in a select patient population before heparinization.

    PATIENT CONCERNS: A 73-year-old Asian gentleman with underlying hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, chronic renal failure, and history of chronic smoking presented to the emergency department with acute left lower limb swelling of 1 day. On examination, the patient was tachycardic (110 beats/minute) and hypertensive (168/84 millimeters mercury (mmHg)). The entire left lower limb was swollen with notable pitting oedema, tenderness, and warmth; left calf swelling was measured to be 4 centimeters (cm).

    DIAGNOSES: The patient's Wells score of 4 placed him in the high-risk group for deep vein thrombosis. Serum D-dimer was subsequently found to be elevated at 926 nanograms/milliliter (ng/ml). Compression ultrasonography revealed a thrombus in the left deep femoral vein, confirming the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis. The ultrasonographic evaluation was extended to the abdominal aorta due to the patient's high risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, and a 7-cm aneurysm was indeed found. Further computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging localized it to the infrarenal region, with left common iliac vein compression resulting in stagnant venous return.

    INTERVENTIONS: Emergency endovascular repair was performed with insertion of an inferior vena cava filter.

    OUTCOMES: The patient was subsequently monitored in the intensive care unit and uneventfully discharged after 2 weeks.

    LESSONS: Such clinical presentations of deep vein thrombosis are rare, but physicians are reminded to consider screening for abdominal aneurysms and other anatomical causes before heparinization in patients who seemingly do not have thromboembolic risk factors. This is especially so for the high risk group of male deep vein thrombosis patients aged 65-75 years with a history of smoking who have yet to be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysms, in line with United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations.

  5. Chou YM, Seak CJ, Goh ZNL, Seak JC, Seak CK, Lin CC
    Medicine (Baltimore), 2018 Jun;97(25):e11056.
    PMID: 29923997 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000011056
    RATIONALE: Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious and potentially life-threatening acute complication of diabetes mellitus (DM). Euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis (eDKA) is however challenging to identify in the emergency department (ED) due to absence of marked hyperglycemia, often leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment. eDKA has been recently found to be associated with sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, one of the newest classes of antidiabetics, though there are very limited reports implicating dapagliflozin as the offending agent in ED patients. Here we report a type 2 diabetic patient who presented to the ED with eDKA secondary to dapagliflozin administration.

    PATIENT CONCERNS: A 61-year-old Asian female with underlying type 2 DM presented to our ED with body weakness, dyspnea, nausea, vomiting, and mild abdominal pain for the past 2 days. These symptoms were preceded by poor oral intake for 1 week due to severe toothache. Dapagliflozin was recently added to her antidiabetic drug regimen of metformin and glibenclamide 2 weeks ago.

    DIAGNOSES: Arterial blood gases showed a picture of severe metabolic acidosis with an elevated anion gap, while ketones were elevated in blood and positive in urine. Blood glucose was mildly elevated at 180 mg/dL. Serum lactate levels were normal. Our patient was thus diagnosed with eDKA.

    INTERVENTION: Our patient was promptly admitted to the intensive care unit and treated for eDKA through intravenous rehydration therapy with insulin infusion.

    OUTCOMES: Serial blood gas analyses showed gradual resolution of the patient's ketoacidosis with normalized anion gap and clearance of serum ketones. She was discharged uneventfully on day 4, with permanent cessation of dapagliflozin administration.

    LESSONS: Life-threatening eDKA as a complication of dapagliflozin is a challenging and easilymissed diagnosis in the ED. Such an ED presentation is very rare, nevertheless emergency physicians are reminded to consider the diagnosis of eDKA in a patient whose drug regimen includes any SGLT2 inhibitor, especially if the patient presents with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dyspnea, lethargy, and is clinically dehydrated. These patients should then be investigated with ketone studies and blood gas analyses regardless of blood glucose levels for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

  6. Seak CJ, Lim MWX, Seak JC, Goh ZNL, Seak CK
    QJM, 2020 06 01;113(6):434-435.
    PMID: 31816086 DOI: 10.1093/qjmed/hcz314
  7. Seak CJ, Lim MWX, Seak JC, Goh ZNL, Seak CK
    QJM, 2020 06 01;113(6):446.
    PMID: 31909796 DOI: 10.1093/qjmed/hcz334
  8. Chen CB, Chen KF, Chien CY, Kuo CW, Goh ZNL, Seak CK, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2021 05 10;11(1):9858.
    PMID: 33972647 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-89291-4
    Early recognition and rapid initiation of high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are key to maximising chances of achieving successful return of spontaneous circulation in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs), as well as improving patient outcomes both inside and outside hospital. Mechanical chest compression devices such as the LUCAS-2 have been developed to assist rescuers in providing consistent, high-quality compressions, even during transportation. However, providing uninterrupted and effective compressions with LUCAS-2 during transportation down stairwells and in tight spaces in a non-supine position is relatively impossible. In this study, we proposed adaptations to the LUCAS-2 to allow its use during transportation down stairwells and examined its effectiveness in providing high-quality CPR to simulated OHCA patients. 20 volunteer emergency medical technicians were randomised into 10 pairs, each undergoing 2 simulation runs per experimental arm (LUCAS-2 versus control) with a loaded Resusci Anne First Aid full body manikin weighing 60 kg. Quality of CPR compressions performed was measured using the CPRmeter placed on the sternum of the manikin. The respective times taken for each phase of the simulation protocol were recorded. Fisher's exact tests were used to analyse categorical variables and median test to analyse continuous variables. The LUCAS-2 group required a longer time (~ 35 s) to prepare the patient prior to transport (p 
  9. Seak CJ, Yen DH, Ng CJ, Wong YC, Hsu KH, Seak JC, et al.
    PLoS One, 2017;12(9):e0184813.
    PMID: 28915258 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184813
    OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the performance of Rapid Emergency Medicine Score (REMS), Rapid Acute Physiology Score (RAPS), and Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS) in ascertaining the severity of illness and predicting the mortality of adult hepatic portal venous gas (HPVG) patients presenting to the emergency department (ED). This will assist emergency physicians (EPs) in risk stratification.

    METHODS: Data for 66 adult HPVG patients who visited the EDs of 2 research hospitals between October 1999 and April 2016 were analyzed. REMS, RAPS, and MEWS were calculated based on data in the ED, and probability of death was calculated for each patient based on these scores. The ability of REMS, RAPS, and MEWS to predict group mortality was assessed by using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis and calibration analysis.

    RESULTS: The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for each scoring system were 92.1%, 89.3%, and 90.9% for REMS, 86.8%, 82.1%, and 84.8% for RAPS, and 78.9%, 89.3%, and 83.3% for MEWS respectively. In the ROC curve analysis, the areas under the curve for REMS, RAPS, and MEWS were 0.929, 0.877, and 0.856 respectively.

    CONCLUSION: Our study is the largest series performed in a population of adult HPVG patients in the ED. The results from this study demonstrate that REMS is superior in predicting the mortality of these patients compared to RAPS and MEWS. We therefore recommend that REMS be used for outcome prediction and risk stratification of adult HPVG in the ED.

  10. Chou YS, Lin HY, Weng YM, Goh ZNL, Chien CY, Fan HJ, et al.
    Intern Emerg Med, 2020 01;15(1):59-66.
    PMID: 30706252 DOI: 10.1007/s11739-019-02037-z
    Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) within a door-to-balloon timing of 90 min have greatly decreased mortality and morbidity of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients. Post-PCI, they are routinely transferred into the coronary care unit (CCU) regardless of the severity of their condition, resulting in frequent CCU overcrowding. This study assesses the feasibility of step-down units (SDUs) as an alternative to CCUs in the management of STEMI patients after successful PCI, to alleviate CCU overcrowding. Criteria of assessment include in-hospital complications, length of stay, cost-effectiveness, and patient outcomes up to a year after discharge from hospital. A retrospective case-control study was done using data of 294 adult STEMI patients admitted to the emergency departments of two training and research hospitals and successfully underwent primary PCI from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2015. Patients were followed up for a year post-discharge. Student t test and χ2 test were done as univariate analysis to check for statistical significance of p 
  11. Tsai LH, Chien CY, Chen CB, Chaou CH, Ng CJ, Lo MY, et al.
    Risk Manag Healthc Policy, 2021;14:771-777.
    PMID: 33654444 DOI: 10.2147/RMHP.S272234
    Purpose: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging contagious pathogen that has caused community and nosocomial infections in many countries. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on emergency services of the largest medical center in Taiwan by comparing emergency department (ED) usage, turnover, and admission rates before the COVID-19 outbreak with those during the outbreak.

    Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in the ED of the largest tertiary medical center in Taiwan. Trends of adult, non-trauma patients who visited the ED during February-April 2019 were compared with those during February-April 2020. The number of visits, their dispositions, crowding parameters, and turnover rates were analyzed. The primary outcome was the change in ED attendance between the two periods. The secondary outcomes were changes in hospital admission rates, crowding parameters, and turnover rates.

    Results: During the outbreak, there were decreased non-trauma ED visits by 33.45% (p < 0.001) and proportion of Taiwan Triage and Acuity Scale (TTAS) 3 patients (p=0.02), with increased admission rates by 4.7% (p < 0.001). Crowding parameters and turnover rate showed significant improvements.

    Conclusion: Comparison of periods before and during the COVID-19 outbreak showed an obvious decline in adult, non-trauma ED visits. The reduction in TTAS 3 patient visits and the increased hospital admission rates provide references for future public-health policy-making to optimise emergency medical resource allocations globally.

  12. Cheng TH, Sie YD, Hsu KH, Goh ZNL, Chien CY, Chen HY, et al.
    PMID: 32646021 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17134904
    Deciding between palliative and overly aggressive therapies for advanced cancer patients who present to the emergency department (ED) with acute issues requires a prediction of their short-term survival. Various scoring systems have previously been studied in hospices or intensive care units, though they are unsuitable for use in the ED. We aim to examine the use of a shock index (SI) in predicting the 60-day survival of advanced cancer patients presenting to the ED. Identified high-risk patients and their families can then be counseled accordingly. Three hundred and five advanced cancer patients who presented to the EDs of three tertiary hospitals were recruited, and their data retrospectively analyzed. Relevant data regarding medical history and clinical presentation were extracted, and respective shock indices calculated. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were plotted to evaluate the predictive performance of the SI. Nonsurvivors within 60 days had significantly lower body temperatures and blood pressure, as well as higher pulse rates, respiratory rates, and SI. Each 0.1 SI increment had an odds ratio of 1.39 with respect to 60-day mortality. The area under the ROC curve was 0.7511. At the optimal cut-off point of 0.94, the SI had 81.38% sensitivity and 73.11% accuracy. This makes the SI an ideal evaluation tool for rapidly predicting the 60-day mortality risk of advanced cancer patients presenting to the ED. Identified patients can be counseled accordingly, and they can be assisted in making informed decisions on the appropriate treatment goals reflective of their prognoses.
  13. Chang SH, Hsieh CH, Weng YM, Hsieh MS, Goh ZNL, Chen HY, et al.
    Biomed Res Int, 2018;2018:6983568.
    PMID: 30327779 DOI: 10.1155/2018/6983568
    Background: Renal abscess is a relatively uncommon yet debilitating and potentially fatal disease. There is no clearly defined, objective risk stratification tool available for emergency physicians' and surgeons' use in the emergency department (ED) to quickly determine the appropriate management strategy for these patients, despite early intervention having a beneficial impact on survival outcomes.

    Objective: This case control study evaluates the performance of Mortality in Emergency Department Sepsis Score (MEDS), Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS), Rapid Emergency Medicine Score (REMS), and Rapid Acute Physiology Score (RAPS) in predicting risk of mortality in ED adult patients with renal abscess. This will help emergency physicians, surgeons, and intensivists expedite the time-sensitive decision-making process.

    Methods: Data from 152 adult patients admitted to the EDs of two training and research hospitals who had undergone a contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan of the abdomen and was diagnosed with renal abscess from January 2011 to December 2015 were analyzed, with the corresponding MEDS, MEWS, REMS, RAPS, and mortality risks calculated. Ability to predict patient mortality was assessed via receiver operating curve analysis and calibration analysis.

    Results: MEDS was found to be the best performing physiologic scoring system, with sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 87.50%, 88.89%, and 88.82%, respectively. Area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) value was 0.9440, and negative predictive value was 99.22% with a cutoff of 9 points.

    Conclusion: Our study is the largest of its kind in examining ED patients with renal abscess. MEDS has been demonstrated to be superior to MEWS, REMS, and RAPS in predicting mortality for this patient population. We recommend its use for evaluation of disease severity and risk stratification in these patients, to expedite identification of critically ill patients requiring urgent intervention.

  14. Hung SK, Ng CJ, Kuo CF, Goh ZNL, Huang LH, Li CH, et al.
    PLoS One, 2017;12(11):e0187495.
    PMID: 29091954 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187495
    BACKGROUND: Splenic abscess is rare but has mortality rates as high as 14% even with recent improvements in management. Early and appropriate intervention may improve patient outcomes, yet at present there is no identified method that can predict mortality risk rapidly and accurately for emergency physicians, surgeons, and intensivists to decide on the ideal course of action.

    OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the performance of Mortality in Emergency Department Sepsis Score (MEDS), Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS), Rapid Emergency Medicine Score (REMS) and Rapid Acute Physiology Score (RAPS) for predicting the mortality risk of adult splenic abscess patients. This will expedite decision making in the emergency department (ED) to increase survival rates and help avoid unnecessary splenectomies.

    METHODS: Data of 114 adult patients admitted to the EDs of 4 research and training hospitals who had undergone an abdominal contrast CT scan and diagnosed with splenic abscess between Jan 2000 and April 2015 were analyzed. The MEDS, MEWS, REMS, and RAPS and their corresponding mortality risks were calculated, with their abilities to predict patient mortality assessed through receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and calibration analysis.

    RESULTS: MEDS was found to be the best performing scoring system across all indicators, with sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 92.86%, 88.00%, and 88.60% respectively; its area under curve for AUROC analysis was 0.92. With a cutoff value of 8, negative predictive value of MEDS was 98.88%.

    CONCLUSION: Our series is the largest multicenter study in adult ED patients with splenic abscess. The results from the present study show that MEDS is superior to MEWS, REMS and RAPS in predicting mortality, thus allowing earlier detection of critically ill adult ED splenic abscess patients. Therefore, we recommend that MEDS be used for predicting severity of illness and risk stratification in these patients.

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