Publications by authors named "Curtis J Hunter"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Interrater Agreement and Reliability of Burn Size Estimations between Emergency Physicians and Burn Unit.

J Burn Care Res 2020 Dec 11. Epub 2020 Dec 11.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Brooke Army Medical Center, Roger Brooke Dr, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Objective: The initial approach to burn injuries has remained essentially unchanged over the past several decades and revolves around trauma assessment and fluid resuscitation, frequently occurring in the emergency department (ED). While previous research suggests that emergency physicians (EP) are poor estimators at total body surface area (TBSA) affected, we believe that estimation differences are improving drastically. This study investigated the interrater agreement and reliability of burn size estimations at an academic ED and its cohabiting burn unit.

Methods: This single center, retrospective study was conducted at a trauma center with a cohabited burn unit. The study included adult patients admitted to the burn unit after receiving paired burn size estimations from EPs and the burn unit. The primary endpoint was the interrater agreement, measured by kappa (k), of 10% TBSA estimation intervals. The secondary endpoint was the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), evaluating the reliability of absolute TBSA estimations.

Results: A chart review was performed for patients evaluated from November 1, 2016 to July 31, 2019. 1,184 patients were admitted to the burn unit, 1,176 of which met inclusion criteria for the primary endpoint. The interrater agreement of TBSA between EPs and the burn unit was 0.586, while the weighted k was 0.775. These values correlate to moderate and substantial agreements, respectively. Additionally, 971 patients had specific TBSA estimations from paired EPs and the burn unit which were used for the secondary endpoint. The ICC between EPs and the burn unit was 0.966, demonstrating an excellent agreement. Further sub-analysis was performed, revealing absolute mean overestimation and underestimation differences of 3.93% and 2.93%, respectively.

Conclusion: EPs at academic institutions with cohabited burn units are accurate estimators of TBSA in the assessment of burn injuries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jbcr/iraa212DOI Listing
December 2020

The THINK (Treatment of Headache with Intranasal Ketamine) Trial: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Intranasal Ketamine with Intravenous Metoclopramide.

J Emerg Med 2019 Mar;56(3):248-257.e1

Department of Emergency Medicine, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, San Antonio, Texas.

Background: Headache is a common chief complaint in the emergency department (ED) setting.

Objectives: To compare analgesia with metoclopramide and diphenhydramine vs. intranasal ketamine among ED patients with primary headache.

Methods: We enrolled a convenience sample of adults with a primary headache in a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial. We randomized patients to either a control arm (intravenous metoclopramide and diphenhydramine) or intranasal ketamine. The primary outcome was change in pain 0-100 mm visual analog scale (VAS) score measured at study start and 30 min post completion of initial medication administration. Secondary outcomes included side effects, hospital admission, and return to care within 48-72 h.

Results: All 53 enrolled subjects completed the study, 26 of whom were allocated to the control arm and 27 to intranasal ketamine. The mean change in pain VAS score at 30 min post intervention was 22.2 mm in the control arm vs. 29.0 in the intranasal ketamine arm (effect size difference 6.8 mm, 95% confidence interval -5.8-19.4). The incidence of reported side effects was 65.4% in the control arm vs. 66.7% in the ketamine arm. Three patients (11.5%) allocated to the control arm required admission for headache pain control vs. 1 patient (3.7%) in the intranasal ketamine arm. Three (11.5%) additional patients in the control arm returned to the ED within 48-72 h for headache pain vs. none in the ketamine arm.

Conclusions: In this small randomized study, intranasal ketamine was not superior to standard therapy among ED patients with primary headache syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2018.12.007DOI Listing
March 2019

In reply.

Ann Emerg Med 2019 02;73(2):209-210

Department of Emergency Medicine, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, San Antonio, TX.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2018.10.014DOI Listing
February 2019

High sensitivity troponin: The Sisyphean pursuit of zero percent miss rate for acute coronary syndrome in the ED.

Am J Emerg Med 2018 Jun 3;36(6):1088-1097. Epub 2018 Apr 3.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Brooke Army Medical Center, 3841 Roger Brooke Dr, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, United States. Electronic address:

Background: The United States Food and Drug Administration recently approved a high sensitivity troponin (hsTn) assay for use. Recent literature has investigated the diagnostic accuracy of hsTn for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the emergency department (ED) and its use in accelerated diagnostic protocols.

Objective: This article evaluates the existing literature and discusses incorporation of hsTn testing into ED clinical practice based on best available evidence.

Discussion: Interpretation of this literature for clinical application is challenging due to heterogeneity across studies with regards to the hsTn assays examined, time intervals for delta troponin tests, and study populations. The high sensitivity of these assays is predicated upon the ability of the physician to clinically determine a patient to have a low pre-test probability of disease. Physicians may further ensure maximal sensitivity by defining the cut-off for a positive value as the limit of detection and utilizing delta troponin testing. These assays do not obviate the need to consider follow-up for risk stratification for discharged patients. Higher sensitivity compared to standard troponin tests comes at the expense of lower specificity. Indiscriminate testing may translate to greater numbers of abnormal troponin results in patients with non-ACS syndromes, potentially leading to increased healthcare costs, hospital admissions, increased ED lengths of stay, and unnecessary interventions.

Conclusion: As hsTn becomes more widespread, it is imperative emergency physicians understand its potential and limitations. Knowledge of test characteristics is vital to ensure appropriate use. Further study of hsTn is required to optimize use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2018.03.075DOI Listing
June 2018

Aromatherapy Versus Oral Ondansetron for Antiemetic Therapy Among Adult Emergency Department Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Ann Emerg Med 2018 08 17;72(2):184-193. Epub 2018 Feb 17.

Department of Emergency Medicine, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, San Antonio, TX.

Study Objective: We compare aromatherapy with inhaled isopropyl alcohol versus oral ondansetron for treating nausea among emergency department (ED) patients not requiring immediate intravenous access.

Methods: In a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial, we enrolled a convenience sample of adults presenting to an urban tertiary care ED with chief complaints including nausea or vomiting. We randomized subjects to 1 of 3 arms: inhaled isopropyl alcohol and 4 mg oral ondansetron, inhaled isopropyl alcohol and oral placebo, and inhaled saline solution placebo and 4 mg oral ondansetron. The primary outcome was mean nausea reduction measured by a 0- to 100-mm visual analog scale from enrollment to 30 minutes postintervention. Secondary outcomes included receipt of rescue antiemetic medications and adverse events.

Results: We enrolled 122 subjects, of whom 120 (98.3%) completed the study. Of randomized subjects, 40 received inhaled isopropyl alcohol and oral ondansetron, 41 received inhaled isopropyl alcohol and oral placebo, and 41 received inhaled saline solution placebo and oral ondansetron. The mean decrease in nausea visual analog scale score in each arm was 30 mm (95% confidence interval [CI] 22 to 37 mm), 32 mm (95% CI 25 to 39 mm), and 9 mm (95% CI 5 to 14 mm), respectively. The proportions of subjects who received rescue antiemetic therapy in each arm were 27.5% (95% CI 14.6% to 43.9%), 25.0% (95% CI 12.7% to 41.2%), and 45.0% (95% CI 29.3% to 61.5%), respectively. There were no adverse events.

Conclusion: Among ED patients with acute nausea and not requiring immediate intravenous access, aromatherapy with or without oral ondansetron provides greater nausea relief than oral ondansetron alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2018.01.016DOI Listing
August 2018

Association between seatbelt sign and internal injuries in the contemporary airbag era: A retrospective cohort study.

Am J Emerg Med 2018 Apr 12;36(4):545-550. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Department of Surgery, San Antonio, Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, Fort Sam Houston, TX, United States.

Background: Literature predating routine availability of airbags reported an association between seatbelt signs and internal injuries. We measured this association among patients involved in motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) with airbag deployment.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study by chart review of all MVC patients presenting to our Emergency Department (ED) during 1 January 2008-30 September 2015. We included all adult MVC patients in the driver or front passenger seats with both shoulder and lap seatbelts and airbag deployment. Two trained chart abstractors recorded data regarding restraints and airbag deployment. We obtained all other data via electronic medical record abstraction including demographics, injuries, and survival. We compared the prevalence of cervicothoracic and intra-abdominopelvic injuries between patients with a documented seatbelt sign versus no seatbelt sign using a logistic regression model.

Results: Of 1379 MVC patients, 350 met inclusion criteria. Of these, 138 (39.4%) had a seatbelt sign. The prevalence of cervicothoracic injury was higher among subjects with a documented seatbelt sign (54.3% versus 42.9%, p=0.036) Seatbelt sign predicted cervicothoracic injury with a positive likelihood ratio of 1.3 (95% CI 1.0-1.7) and negative likelihood ratio of 0.8 (95% CI 0.7-1.0). The odds ratio of cervicothoracic injury among patients with a seatbelt sign versus no seatbelt sign was 1.58 (95% confidence interval 1.02-2.46) in the logistic regression model. There was no association between seatbelt sign and intra-abdominopelvic injury (p=0.418).

Conclusions: In the setting of airbag deployment, there is an association between seatbelt sign and cervicothoracic injury but not intra-abdominopelvic injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2017.09.011DOI Listing
April 2018

Isopropyl Alcohol Nasal Inhalation for Nausea in the Emergency Department: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Ann Emerg Med 2016 07 8;68(1):1-9.e1. Epub 2015 Dec 8.

Department of Emergency Medicine, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, San Antonio, TX.

Study Objective: We compare nasal inhalation of isopropyl alcohol versus placebo in treating nausea among emergency department (ED) patients.

Methods: A convenience sample of adults with chief complaints of nausea or vomiting was enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted in an urban tertiary care ED. Patients were randomized to nasally inhaled isopropyl alcohol versus nasally inhaled normal saline solution. Patient nausea and pain were measured with previously published 11-point verbal numeric response scale scores; patient satisfaction was measured by a 5-point Likert scale. The primary outcome was reduction in nausea 10 minutes poststart. Secondary outcomes included patient satisfaction and pain reduction measured at 10 minutes poststart.

Results: Of 84 recruited patients, 80 (95.2%) completed the study. Thirty-seven (46.3%) received nasally inhaled isopropyl alcohol and 43 (53.8%) received nasally inhaled normal saline solution. At 10 minutes postintervention, median nausea verbal numeric response scale score was 3 in the isopropyl alcohol arm versus 6 in the placebo arm, for an effect size of 3 (95% confidence interval 2 to 4). Median satisfaction score was 4 in the isopropyl alcohol arm versus 2 in the placebo arm, for an effect size of 2 (95% confidence interval 2 to 2). There were no significant differences between the 2 arms in median pain verbal numeric response scale scores or subsequent receipt of rescue antiemetics.

Conclusion: We found that nasally inhaled isopropyl alcohol achieves increased nausea relief compared with placebo during a 10-minute period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2015.09.031DOI Listing
July 2016

Thoracic spinal cord compression masquerading as cauda equina syndrome.

Am J Emerg Med 2016 Apr 30;34(4):756.e3-5. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

Department of Emergency Medicine, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium; Department of Radiology, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2015.07.069DOI Listing
April 2016

Avascular Necrosis of the Hip.

J Emerg Med 2015 Oct 20;49(4):e115-6. Epub 2015 Jun 20.

Departments of Emergency Medicine and Radiology, San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2015.03.042DOI Listing
October 2015

Jael's Syndrome: Facial Impalement.

West J Emerg Med 2013 Mar;14(2):158-60

Brooke Army Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, San Antonio, Texas.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2012.7.11984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3628470PMC
March 2013

Postdischarge secobarbital after ED migraine treatment decreases pain and improves resolution.

Am J Emerg Med 2011 Jan 26;29(1):86-90. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, TX, USA.

Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether the addition of postdischarge oral secobarbital to standard emergency department (ED) migraine headache therapy improves pain relief and headache resolution compared with placebo.

Setting: The setting is an urban ED with 70 000 yearly visits.

Methods: This is an Institutional Review Board-approved, randomized, nonconsecutive, double-blinded, concealed, and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Patients with a clinical diagnosis of migraine underwent standard ED treatment and were discharged with 2 tablets of either secobarbital 100 mg or placebo. At home arrival, subjects recorded headache pain on a visual analog scale (VAS), took 1 tablet, and went to bed, taking the second tablet after 1 hour if not asleep. Upon awakening, subjects completed a second VAS and survey.

Statistical Analysis: The VAS data were analyzed using 2-tailed t test with unequal variance. Headache resolution data were analyzed using Fisher exact test.

Results: Fifty subjects were enrolled. Complete data and follow-up were available for 30 subjects (60%). Fourteen subjects received placebo; 16 received secobarbital. Secobarbital subjects reported an average headache pain decrease of 25 mm (-13 to -38) compared with an average increase of 3 mm (-13 to 19) in the placebo group (P = .01). Ninety-four percent of the secobarbital group vs 50% of the placebo group had complete or partial headache resolution (P < .02). All subjects in the secobarbital group reported some relief.

Conclusions: Addition of postdischarge oral secobarbital to a standard ED migraine treatment regimen decreased headache pain at 24 hours after discharge and improved the rate of headache resolution compared with placebo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2009.09.027DOI Listing
January 2011

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the combat hospital and forward operating base: use of automated external defibrillators.

Mil Med 2009 Jun;174(6):584-7

Department of Clinical Investigation, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, 5005 North Piedras Street, El Paso, TX 79920-5001, USA.

Objective: Time to defibrillation (t(defib)) directly correlates with survival from cardiac arrest. We investigated whether automated external defibrillators (AED) in a combat setting would improve this crucial variable.

Methods: We performed a randomized simulation study to compare two systems of cardiac arrest response: public access AED vs. standard manual defibrillation. The study was conducted in two phases at two different settings: (1) in a contiguous United States (CONUS)-based training combat support hospital (CSH) and (2) at a deployed CSH within a combat forward operating base (FOB). The primary outcome was t(defib) and the secondary outcome was difficulty of use.

Results: For the training CSH setting, t(defib) the AED model was significantly faster than the conventional model (1.3 vs. 2.0 minutes, p <0.001, 95% CI of the mean difference = 0.39-1.1). In the combat environment, t(defib) was between 2.2 and 8.4 minutes faster for the AED system. The AED system was found to be significantly easier to use than the standard model.

Conclusion: In simulated cardiac arrest, the AED model demonstrated significantly improved t(defib) compared to the standard response for both training and combat settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7205/milmed-d-01-8108DOI Listing
June 2009

Intravenous dexamethasone to prevent the recurrence of benign headache after discharge from the emergency department: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

CJEM 2006 Nov;8(6):393-400

Department of Emergency Medicine, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas 78234-6200, USA.

Objective: To evaluate whether the addition of intravenous (i.v.) dexamethasone to standard emergency department (ED) benign headache therapy would reduce the incidence of headache recurrence at 48-72 hours.

Methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of adult patients presenting with the chief complaint of headache was conducted in the ED of 2 academic, urban Level 1 hospitals. Headache evaluation and therapy were determined by the treating physician, and, before discharge, patients were administered either 10 mg of IV dexamethasone or placebo. The treatment groups had similar baseline characteristics, abortive therapy, IV fluids and degree of pain relief achieved before discharge. Patients were contacted 48-72 hours following discharge and asked whether their headache was "better," "worse" or "remained unchanged" when compared with their symptoms at discharge. Those whose headaches were "worse" or "unchanged," and those who reported a return of headache after being pain free at discharge were considered to be treatment failures and classified as having had a recurrence. The patient's headache at follow-up was further categorized as severe (i.e., provoking another physician visit or interfering with daily activity) or mild (i.e., requiring self-medication or no treatment).

Results: Fifty-seven patients met the inclusion criteria and 2 were lost to follow-up, leaving 55 for analysis. At follow-up, 9.7% (3/31) of those receiving dexamethasone had headache recurrence, versus 58.3% (14/24) of those receiving placebo (p < 0.001). Four dexamethasone recipients (12.9%) had severe headaches at follow-up compared with 8 (33.3%) in the placebo group (p = 0.14).

Conclusions: In this study, IV dexamethasone reduced headache recurrence at 48-72-hour follow-up. Given its excellent safety profile and likely benefit, IV dexamethasone should be considered for ED headache patients after standard evaluation and therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1481803500014184DOI Listing
November 2006

Location as an important predictor of lymph node involvement for pulmonary adenocarcinoma.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2006 Sep 31;132(3):544-8. Epub 2006 Jul 31.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Mass 02118, USA.

Background: Increasing data implicate histologic grade and radiographic appearance along with tumor size as key prognostic indicators for pulmonary adenocarcinoma. The impact of tumor location on prognosis has not been examined.

Methods: The records of 530 consecutive patients with pulmonary adenocarcinoma pathologically staged between June 1979 and July 2002 were reviewed. All patients had a preoperative computed tomographic scan of the chest and underwent surgical staging by mediastinoscopy, lymph node sampling, or lymph node dissection. Patients with bronchioalveolar cell carcinoma were excluded. Peripheral tumors were compared with central tumors with regard to stage and survival. A tumor was considered to be central if visualized within the inner third of the lung field or seen bronchoscopically. Patients with T1 cancers were further analyzed on the basis of tumor size. Survival was determined by the Kaplan-Meier analysis and comparisons were made by the log-rank method.

Results: Central tumors were more advanced and demonstrated a significantly (P < .0001) poorer survival than peripheral tumors (median 18 vs 39 months). Sixty percent of patients with central tumors had stage III or stage IV disease compared with 25% of those with peripheral tumors. Central T1 tumors, however, demonstrated a 50% incidence of lymph node involvement. Although the incidence of lymph node metastases increased incrementally with the size of peripheral T1 tumors, it remained 50% for central T1 tumors irrespective of size.

Conclusion: Tumor location for pulmonary adenocarcinoma should be considered when planning therapy. Central tumors have a high incidence of lymph node metastases (regardless of size) and a poorer prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2006.05.023DOI Listing
September 2006