Tox-Dogmalysis is a talk about evidence in Toxicology. It’s been said that 50% of what we learn is incorrect; we just don’t know which 50%. As the complexity of medicine increases, it is of the utmost importance for clinicians to be skeptical of old data and new data alike.

Many in the FOAM community have made huge strides in busting myths that have persisted over time.

However, sometimes we may declare myths busted too prematurely based on incomplete or misunderstood data. This talk will explore three topics in toxicology for which the perceived myths may actually be true, or at least not completely busted.

Direct download: Day_1_C5_Bryan_Hayes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am AEDT

Fluids in Critical Care: Time to SPLIT With Normal Saline?

Summary by: Paul Young

Intravenous fluid therapy is a ubiquitous treatment for critically ill patients and has been used in clinical practice for over 175 years. Despite this long history, the majority of intravenous fluids have not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny as other drugs. That said, large-scale fluid trials evaluating albumin and starch solutions compared to 0.9% saline have been conducted and their results have changed clinical practice around the world so that crystalloid fluid therapy is now predominant in many parts of the world.

While 0.9% saline is the world’s most commonly prescribed crystalloid fluid, increasingly clinicians are turning to buffered or balanced crystalloid solutions as an alternative to 0.9% saline. This practice change from 0.9% saline towards balanced crystalloids is not based on high quality evidence but is supported by observational data suggesting that saline may be associated with an increased risk of renal toxicity and mortality compared to buffered crystalloids.

This talk gives an overview of the data comparing the comparative effectiveness of 0.9% saline and buffered crystalloids, provides an overview of the historical context of intravenous fluid therapy (and proctoclysis), and describes the design of the Saline vs. Plasma-Lyte 148® for Intravenous fluid Therapy (SPLIT) trial which has now been completed and was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

External Links
• [The Bottom line] SPLIT trial reviewed
• [article] Effect of a Buffered Crystalloid Solution vs Saline on Acute Kidney Injury Among Patients in the Intensive Care Unit The SPLIT Randomized Clinical Trial
• [editorial] Editorial accompanying paper
• [videocast] Presentation of SPLIT trial at ESICM by Dr Paul Young
• [Further reading] Association Between a Chloride-Liberal vs Chloride-Restrictive Intravenous Fluid Administration Strategy and Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Adults
• [St Emlyn's] SPLIT trial published. Saline or Plasmalyte on the ICU?

Direct download: Paul_Young_-_Fluids_in_Critical_Care-_Time_to_SPLIT_With_Normal_Saline.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am AEDT

Mark Wilson hosts an all-star cast!
Summary By: Mark Wilson

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a hugely important topic in critical care. It is a major cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world with hospital presentations totaling over 2million in the US, 1 million in the UK and 700,000 in Australia each year. Not only do they represent a huge proportion of injuries, but they are a unique in their potential to fundamentally change “who a person is”. As critical care and trauma practitioners there are many aspects of management that can change outcomes for patients in the short and long term.

Dr Mark Wilson (@MarkHWilson) is a neurosurgeon and doctor for the Air Ambulance in the UK. In this session from SMACC Chicago entitled “It’s a Knockout”, he expertly leads a discussion which holds a magnifying glass to the current practice guidelines for managing TBI as taught in ATLS.  On the discussion panel is a star-studded international cast including: Pierre Janin, Andrew Dixon (@DrAndrewDixon), Karim Brohi (@karimbrohi), Karel Harbig (@karelharbig), Deb Stein, Michael McGonigal, Bill Knight, John Hinds and Ralph the Janitor (who looks remarkably like Cliff Reid @cliffreid).

In this discussion forum, international specialists from the fields of neurosurgery, intensive care, trauma surgery, emergency medicine and radiology engage in a discussion of the step-by-step management of a real case of a patient with a head injury. This discussion highlights the many management controversies including how to manage the c-spine, whether or not to oxygenate, whether or not to intubate, when to extubate, if and how to sedate the patient, when to CT and how to monitor the head injured patient. In typical SMACC style this discussion demonstrates the approach to the management of a patient from different vantage points and demonstrates why it is so difficult to come to a consensus of the approach to this type of injury.

Panelists delve into the features of TBI that you won’t find in textbooks including impact brain apnoea, multi-compartment syndrome and more. Watch out for the a segue into the Good Sam Appa smartphone app which alerts registered medically trained personnel to nearby emergencies to minimize downtime when medical emergencies occur.

This forum has everything you have come to love and expect from SMACC including international experts, heated debates, controversial #hashtags, guest speakers and more!

Direct download: Its_a_Knockout_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30am AEDT

Summary by: Paul Young

The febrile response to infection occurs in most animals and is regulated by a common biochemical mechanism involving prostaglandin E2. This common mechanism suggests that the response may have evolved in a common ancestor more than 350 million years ago. As the febrile response comes at a significant metabolic cost, its persistence across a broad range of species provides circumstantial evidence that the response has some evolutionary advantage. Furthermore, it logically follows that the components of the immune system would have evolved to function optimally in the physiological febrile range.

There are a number of historical examples of dramatic responses to treatment with therapeutic hyperthermia in some infectious diseases, including neurosyphilis and malaria. The relevance of these historical examples to the modern era is unclear. Furthermore, arguments based on the evolutionary importance of the febrile response do not necessarily apply to critically ill patients who are, by definition, supported beyond the limits of normal physiological homeostasis. Humans are not adapted to critical illness. In the absence of modern medicine and Intensive Care, most critically ill patients with fever and infection would presumably die. Among critically ill patients, it seems likely that there is a balance to be struck between the potential benefits of reducing metabolic rate that come with fever control and the potential risks of a deleterious effect on host defence mechanisms. Where this balance lies is very unclear as there are very few interventional studies of fever management in critically patients.

Remarkably, although paracetamol is very widely used in ICU patients with fever and infection, only one RCT, the HEAT trial, has investigated the safety and efficacy of administering paracetamol to critically ill patients with fever and infection. This talk gives the background to the HEAT trial which has now been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


• [The Bottom line] HEAT trial reviewed
• [NEJM article] Acetaminophen for Fever in Critically Ill Patients with Suspected Infection
• [NEJM supplement] Supplementary reading • [podcast] Paracetamol improves recovery in critically ill patients. Radio interview with Paul Young
• [other studies] Paracetamol therapy and outcome of critically ill patients: a multicenter retrospective observational study

What is it that enables some physicians to step into a high pressure situation with poise, presence, and consistently perform to their capabilities?

What else is there beyond technical knowledge and clinical skill that can be developed to help immunize the person that is a physician from some of the more human challenges that can present?

In a field so ripe with immense performance pressures, demands, and expectations what are those people doing who seem to thrive amidst it all?

In this session you will be introduced to a variety of strategies rooted in the principles of performance psychology, and their application in high-pressure performance environments such as medicine. Learn how the top performers I have observed through my extensive collaborations with physicians, and others in high-pressure fields (e.g. elite athletes, business leaders and military/tactical officers) have come to gain efficiencies in how they focus, stay perceptive, maintain equanimity, process their experiences, create and sustain an optimal “feel” in their work and ultimately, perform to their potential when it matters most.

Direct download: Jason_Brooks_-_Performance_Psychology_for_Resuscitationists.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am AEDT

Kevin Fong is an astrophysicist, astronaut and anaesthetist with an interest in medical error and safety. In this talk he focuses on lessons learnt from his time at NASA which can be applied to medical practice. Fong believes that key to safer practice is in the collection of accurate data. He outlines some aspects of the famous communications between Sully Sullenberger (pilot) and the Le Gardia air-traffic control tower as Sullenberger miraculously lands a commercial airline on New York's Hudson River - Fong's point is not in the words said or in the calmness of the communications, but that we can go back and analyse every word spoken because the data is collected so accurately. 

He goes on to discuss some of the failures surrounding both the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia accident's. More importantly he stresses not so much the lessons learnt but the lessons forgotten and the need to ensure organisational memory. We only protect ourselves and our patients through technology and the systems of operation we create.

Direct download: Day_3_Safety_Lessons_from_Space_Kevin_Fong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am AEDT


Is the care you deliver to critically ill patients in your ED the same as the care delivered in your ICU? And if not, why not?

Consider the challenges facing the delivery of excellent care in the ED, and be inspired to make changes at your hospital to improve your system. Learn ten strategies for optimizing the care of critically ill patients in your ED.

1. Learn more about ED-ICU’s at Scott Weingart’s excellent site
2. Consider a resuscitation fellowship like this one:
3. There are zillions of articles about the benefits of simulation and training, here is a link to just one, if you only want to dip your toe in the water:
4. Audit and feedback around quality outcomes are a potential strategy. Read more about the pros and cons from the World Health Organization here:
Direct download: Day_2_C13_Sara_Gray.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am AEDT

When settings outside the hospital are taken into account (ED, primary care), the overall number must be considerably higher. While many factors contribute to diagnostic failure, a variety of sources suggest that physician’s thinking has a lot to do with it.

Dual Process Theory describes how the brain makes decisions in one of two modes: through fast, unconscious, intuitive processes (System 1) or through slower, conscious, analytical processes (System 2). Mental short-cuts (heuristics) and biases are predominantly located in the intuitive mode where we spend most of our conscious time, and this is where the majority of decision failures occur. Thinking straight essentially means achieving a good balance between System 1 and System 2 decision making, and much of our cognitive effort needs to go into monitoring what our unconscious brains are doing in System 1. This is referred to by a variety of terms: metacognition, reflection, mindfulness, and others. They all involve cognitive de-coupling from System 1 and characterize the process of cognitive de-biasing. This is not easily accomplished in the ED or any environment where decision density is often high, throughput pressure exists, resources may be limited, and where decision makers may be fatigued and/or sleep deprived.

While medicine has acquired a variety of strategies over the years for de-biasing clinicians, added benefits can be obtained by developing specific mindware to tackle particular biases. Clinicians need to be aware of the operating characteristics of the dual process model of decision making, of the prevalence and nature of biases, and of how to apply and sustain de-biasing mindware in their decision making.

Direct download: How_to_Think_Straight-Pat_Croskerry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am AEDT

The human circulation is a complex system that has evolved over millenia, primarily designed to promptly respond to conditions of stress - the fight and flight response. The traditional physiological approach focuses on the heart as a pump, adapting to changes in volume and metabolic states.

These principles are underpinned by the Starling equation and incorporated into an adaptation of Ohm\'s law. These principles have been maladapted, punctuated by an increasing reliance on surrogate and derived variables that have little to do with teleological haemodyanamic responses.Insights into the central role of the autonomic nervous system are provided by Guytonian theory that in part explain the physiological fallacy germane to many clinical protocols and practices.

These fallacies have been amplified by commercial studies directed at short-term physiological improvements that have little to do with patient-centred outcomes in the medium and longer term.Such effects have been demonstrated in recent high-quality RCTs that force a re-appraisal of seductive short-term physiologically-based gratification.

Direct download: Forgotten_Cardiovascular_Physiology_by_Myburgh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am AEDT

The Force is strong with this one… Despite years of research and new technology, the adjusted mortality rate for traumatic brain injury remains near 25%. Currently, primary injury occurs before we can intervene, and all our pre-hospital, ED and ICU care is directed towards preventing remarkably complicated and poorly understood secondary injuries.

TBI is a heterogenous group of diseases often treated homogenously. You too can master the ways of the Force, by reviewing the Top 10 items you need to know to care for your next patient with a severe traumatic brain injury. Topics covered will include the most up to date evidence, anticoagulation reversal, early aggressive care, and future directions. Become a master of this complicated disease process in your clinical practice.

Direct download: 10_Things_you_Need_to_Know_about_TBI_by_Knight.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30am AEDT

Neurologically intact recovery after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest remains dismal. In the United States, an 8% meaningful recovery rate is hopeful at best. The introduction of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is not new but has been shown to provide upwards of 27-30% meaningful recovery, when applied to the appropriate patient population. In 2011 we began extracorporeal CPR (ECPR) in our emergency department - a suburban non-academic center in San Diego, California, USA; the results have been very promising. As a result, we also began refining all aspects of resuscitation. What specific things did we change about the way we do resuscitation?
Proper preparation of the resuscitation suite: If we assume the patient will end up on ECMO, then early femoral vessel access is the priority. Traditional paramedic offloading was problematic for many reasons. To address that we:
attempt transfer of the patient from medic gurney to hospital gurney in the ambulance bay, where there is more room.
When ‘CPR ala fresca’ isn’t possible, we bring the patient into the resuscitation room on the right side of the room, which allows the doctor accessing femoral vessels to be sterile-prepped with ultrasound in-hand.

Early femoral arterial transduction to guide the resuscitation
Hemodynamic-Directed Dosing of Epinephrine intra-arrest
Nurse Code-Team Leader: assign the rote elements of the code, the ACLS protocols, to a trained nurse code team leader. This provides physician cognitive offload.
Use a mechanical chest compression device

Use an Impedence Threshold Device:
increases venous return
decreases intracranial pressure (ICP)
increases coronary perfusion pressure (CPP)

Does any of this make a difference? Well, review of CARES data (U.S.-based cardiac arrest registry) shows that the 2014 arrest recovery rate, with meaningful neurologic outcome, at our hospital was almost double that of the nationwide data. And of the 50 patients included in the CARES database for our hospital, only 4 of those were resuscitated with ECPR. Perhaps we are just paying better attention and providing better overall care throughout the resuscitation. Perhaps we can all improve our resuscitation outcomes.

Direct download: Cutting_Edge_Resuscitation_in_the_Community_ED_Joe_Bellezzo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm AEDT

Reuben Strayer takes us through the myriad uses of Ketamine, and dispells some myths in the process. A Special K classic.

Direct download: Ketamine-_How_to_Use_it_Fearlessly_For_All_its_Indications_by_Strayer_OF.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24am AEDT

Is Suspended Animation only in the realms of science fiction, or is this a realsitic treatment option? Mervyn Singer questions if we can prevent secondary reperfusion injury following cerbral ischaemia.

Direct download: singer.wav
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm AEDT

In Coping with Isolation - All alone on Kangaroo Island, Tim talks with brutal honsety about the reality of being a rural doctor.

Direct download: 24_Leeuwenburg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

Oli Flower brings lessons from cage fighting that are relevant to all health care professionals. Be open minded about this one!

Direct download: 23Flower.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20pm AEDT

Christine Bowles takes on the big issue of Sex in critical care. In 2015, why is sexual equality in the workplace even an issue and how can we address it?

Direct download: 21Bowles.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

Roger Harris shows us just how complex decisions about resuscitation can be and when stopping can be the right thing to do.

Direct download: 19Harris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

Chris Nickson challenges us to examine lessons that are 150 years old

Direct download: 18Nickson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

ENT surgeon Georgie Harris takes you through a logical approach to managing the horrific scenario of a transcected airway

Direct download: 17harris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

Guess or Gestalt? by Simon Carley. The secret to being a great Emergency Physician lies in Skill, Knowledge and Clinical Acumen!

Direct download: 16Carley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

Failure is a fundamental part of learning, and growing. Michelle teaches us about failing better and the benefits and freedom this brings.

Direct download: 15Johnston.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

Rob Orman drills down on what suicidal ideation really means and how you can tell if your patient really has it.

Direct download: 14Orman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

An all-star panel of world sepsis experts discuss the controversial areas. Expertly hosted by Scott Weingart and lubricated with on-stage alcohol.

Direct download: 13SEPSIS_SMACCDOWN.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am AEDT

Hemorrhage is the leading cause of preventable death following trauma. Deborah Stein talks REBOA - who, what and why...

Direct download: 12Stein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Beating sepsis in Latin America is a serious challenge. Flavia Machado descibes the 5 major issues & how they're being tackled.


Direct download: 11_Machado.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Education Theory for the Clinician - Jonathan Sherbino will improve the quality and efficiency of how you teach.

Direct download: 10Sherbinoi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Shreves shows palliative care providers how to re-align with their patients and provide the highest quality end-of-life experience.

Direct download: 09Shreves.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Karim Brohi on tranexamic acid in trauma. With the "TXA denier's handbook" laminated with sarcasm, Karim's talk is a must-hear.

Direct download: 08_Brohi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Roger & Oli go through the latest information about registration for smaccDUB, discussing the program, workshops, student rego, the ticket release, why Dublin, other pre-confernece events, the social program and accommodation. See you in Dublin!

Direct download: smaccdub_registration_info.mp3
Category:audio -- posted at: 4:23pm AEDT

The battle is on...who will win out? The heroic healthcare individual or the faceless safety checklist? Brindley takes saftey talks to a new level. A true SMACC highlight.

Direct download: 07_Brindley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

John Hinds shows us why he will be so dearly missed in this superb talk from SMACC Chicago. This is about resuscitative thoracotomy but really so much more.

Direct download: Hinds-_Crack_the_Chest._Get_Crucified.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49pm AEDT

Opioids are extraordinary agents that have been used for millennia for the relief of pain and suffering; however, the history of opioids is also one of abuse and addiction. In the US, we are in the midst of a devastating iatrogenic chapter in this history, a prescription opioid epidemic that kills 15,000 Americans per year by overdose and destroys hundreds of thousands of lives and families.

In this presentation we will consider the magnitude and consequences of the current epidemic; describe how clinical organizations and clinicians were appropriated by the pharmaceutical industry so that Americans–5% of the world’s population–consume more prescription opioids than the rest of the world combined; and discuss strategies for managing patients who present to emergency departments with acute or chronic pain complaints that account for our competing mandates to palliate and protect.

These strategies center on an assessment of the likelihood that using opioids will deliver benefit or cause harm. For patients at low risk to be harmed by opioids, utilize aggressive multimodal analgesia, including opioids as needed to control acute pain, and prescribe optimal outpatient non-opioid analgesia with a small number of breakthrough opioids if indicated. For patients at high risk to be harmed by opioids, including patients with chronic pain and patients with flags for opioid misuse, avoid using opioids in the ED and outpatient settings, utilize non-opioids to manage symptoms, and, when misuse is suspected, nudge the patient to addiction treatment. The goals of optimal opioid stewardship are to provide effective symptom relief while preventing de novo cases of addiction, to control the supply of opioids in the community, and to protect existing addicts from further harm while promoting recovery.

For slides, the HELPCard treatment referral business card, and phraseology to use when managing patients at risk for opioid misuse, go to

Direct download: 06Strayer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Kath Maitland, the author of the FEAST study, talks about where we go now with fluids in kids, following FEAST

Direct download: 05Maitland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Personal tragedy will touch all of us. Rob's talk is an incredibly personal story but offers much practical advice for dealing with the inevitable.

Direct download: 04Rogers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Amal Mattu gives Career advice with help from The Princess Bride

Direct download: 03Mattu.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

Liz Crowe talks on the role of religion in coping with devastating life events, such as those whitnessed in critical care

Direct download: 02Crowe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

John Hinds gives his last talk - on the subject he was most passionate about. Back with popular demand, More Cases from the Races.

Direct download: 01Hinds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11pm AEDT


Chris Ross & Oli Flower discuss the latest update on SMACC Chicago - an incredible cadaver workshop with small group expert tuition on a huge range of critical care procedures. At a hugely discounted price. This will sell out so get in there fast.

Direct download: Chris_Ross_on_SMACC_Cadaver_Workshop_for_iTunes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03pm AEDT

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... Watch our fearless masters of Sim battle for galactic supremacy on the SMACC main stage. 

Direct download: 98SimWars2014.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:55pm AEDT

Own the ventilator! Irma Bilgrami lays down a framework for analysis of ventilator settings and waveforms to enhance your daily practise.

Direct download: 97Bilgrami.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:55pm AEDT

Integrity, Reflection and Professionalism. Stuart Lane examines how we respond to mistakes, errors and poor outcomes in clinical practise.

Direct download: 96Lane.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:04pm AEDT

Treating the mind AND the body. Imogen Mitchell on putting the 'person' back in 'patient'.

Direct download: 95Mitchell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:24am AEDT