Annals of Emergency Medicine

Intravenous Fluid for the Treatment of Emergency Department Patients With Migraine Headache: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Mid-Atlantic meeting,March 2018, Baltimore, MD; and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine annual meeting, May 2018, Indianapolis, IN.

Christopher W. Jones, MD, et al.

Study objective

Annal of Emergency MedicineThe objective of this pilot study is to assess the feasibility and necessity of performing a large-scale trial to measure the effect of intravenous fluid therapy on migraine headache pain.


This was a single-center, pilot randomized controlled trial. We randomized adult emergency department migraine headache patients to receive 1 L of normal saline solution during 1 hour (fluid group) or saline solution at 10 mL/hour for 1 hour (control group). All patients received intravenous prochlorperazine and diphenhydramine at the start of fluid administration. Participants and outcome assessors were blinded; nurses administering the intervention were not. Outcomes were assessed at 60 and 120 minutes, and 48 hours. The primary outcome was the difference in the verbal pain rating (on a scale of 0 to 10) between 0 and 60 minutes. Key secondary outcomes included additional clinical endpoints, the rate of protocol completion, and the effectiveness of blinding.


Fifty patients consented to participate; one withdrew, leaving 25 patients randomized to the fluid group and 24 in the no fluid group. The mean improvement in 0- to 60-minute pain score was 4.5 (95% confidence interval 3.7 to 5.3) in the fluid group and 4.9 (95% confidence interval 3.5 to 6.2) in the control group. Primary outcome data were collected for 49 of 50 enrolled patients, and only one participant correctly identified the group assignment.


This pilot study showed no statistically significant treatment effect from fluid administration, but does not exclude the possibility of a clinically important treatment effect. The study protocol and approach to blinding are both feasible and effective.


The Canadian Community Utilization of Stroke Prevention Study in Atrial Fibrillation in the Emergency Department (C-CUSP ED)

Ratika Parkash, MD, MS, et al.

Email the author MD, MS Ratika Parkash


Study objective

Lack of oral anticoagulation prescription in the emergency department (ED) has been identified as a care gap in atrial fibrillation patients. This study seeks to determine whether the use of a tool kit for emergency physicians with a follow-up community-based atrial fibrillation clinic resulted in greater oral anticoagulation prescription at ED discharge than usual care.


This was a before-after study in 5 Canadian EDs in 3 cities. Patients who presented to the ED with atrial fibrillation were eligible for inclusion. The before phase (1) was retrospective; 2 after phases (2 and 3) were prospective: phase 2 used an oral anticoagulation prescription tool for emergency physicians and patient education materials, whereas phase 3 used the same prescription tool, patient materials, atrial fibrillation educational session, and follow-up in an atrial fibrillation clinic. Each phase was 1 year long. The primary outcome was the rate of new oral anticoagulation prescription at ED discharge for patients who were oral anticoagulation eligible and not receiving oral anticoagulation at presentation.


A total of 631 patients were included. Mean age was 69 years (SD 14 years), 47.4% were women, and 69.6% of patients had a CHADS2 score greater than or equal to 1. The rate of new oral anticoagulation prescription in phase 1 was 15.8% compared with 54.1% and 47.2%, in phases 2 and 3, respectively. After multivariable adjustment, the odds ratio for new oral anticoagulation prescription was 8.03 (95% confidence interval 3.52 to 18.29) for phase 3 versus 1. The 6-month rate of oral anticoagulation use was numerically but not significantly higher in phase 3 compared with phase 2 (71.6% versus 79.4%; adjusted odds ratio 2.30; 95% confidence interval 0.89 to 5.96). The rate of major bleeding at 6 months was 0%, 0.8%, and 1% in phases 1, 2, and 3, respectively.


An oral anticoagulation prescription tool was associated with an increase in new oral anticoagulation prescription in the ED, irrespective of whether an atrial fibrillation clinic follow-up was scheduled. The use of an atrial fibrillation clinic was associated with a trend to a higher rate of oral anticoagulation at 6-month follow-up.


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