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FACP. Colegio de médicos de Tarragona Nº 4305520 / fgcapriles@gmail.com




Saturday, January 14, 2017

PTSD for Emergency Physicians

EMOttawa - January 12, 2017 - By Valerie Charbonneau
"For many of us in Emergency Medicine, PTSD is something we don’t really think about. We might pause before using ketamine for sedation in a war veteran, or seek psychological support for victims of sexual assault, but it is not a topic that we usually discuss or associate with. It certainly isn’t something that we feel threatens us and our careers.
However studies using standardized and validated tools have shown a point prevalence of PTSD in German and Belgian emergency physicians, Dutch hospital physicians and Vancouver ED staff to be approximately 15%. By comparison, the lifetime prevalence of PTSD in the Canadian population is approximately 2.4% so a point prevalence of 15% is extremely high. 
Though initially surprising, these numbers start to make sense when we think about the types of cases that emergency physicians handle regularly: pediatric injuries and arrests, sexual assaults, graphic traumas, failed resuscitations. We are exposed daily to things that would scar most people. 
And yet we do not talk about occupational stress injuries, do not train for resiliency, and often fail to recognize distress in a colleague and even in ourselves. After all, we are physicians, we should be better and stronger than this right?..."