Managing Illicit Drug Related Chest Pain: A case based approach

Course Description

This interactive and practical one-hour course is designed to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage cases of illicit drug-related chest pain. Through a case-based approach, participants will learn how to navigate the complexities of assessing and treating patients with chest pain, where the presence of illicit drugs may not be initially disclosed. The course will cover history-taking, physical examination, relevant investigations (including ECGs and point-of-care ultrasound of the chest), managing agitated patients, and making appropriate referrals.

Course Objectives: By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the association between illicit drug use and chest pain.
  • Conduct a comprehensive history-taking specific to patients with suspected illicit drug-related chest pain.
  • Perform a focused physical examination to identify relevant clinical findings.
  • Interpret and analyse ECG findings in the context of illicit drug-related chest pain.
  • Understand the role of point-of-care ultrasound of the chest in assessing patients with chest pain.
  • Develop strategies for managing agitated patients in the context of illicit drug-related chest pain.
  • Determine appropriate referrals and follow-up care for patients with suspected illicit drug-related chest pain.

Course Outline

Introduction (5 minutes)

Welcome and course overview

Importance of managing illicit drug-related chest pain effectively

Case Presentation (10 minutes)

  • Present a case scenario involving a patient with illicit drug-related chest pain
  • Discuss the challenges of working through a case with undisclosed drug use

History-Taking and Risk Assessment (15 minutes)

  • Key questions to ask when evaluating chest pain in the context of illicit drug use
  • Identifying potential risk factors and red flags
  • Strategies for building trust and encouraging open communication

Physical Examination and Clinical Findings (10 minutes)

  • Specific aspects of the physical examination relevant to illicit drug-related chest pain
  • Recognising potential clinical findings and their significance

Investigations: ECGs and Point-of-Care Ultrasound of the Chest (15 minutes)

  • Interpretation of ECG findings in the context of illicit drug-related chest pain
  • Role of point-of-care ultrasound of the chest in evaluating patients with chest pain

Managing Agitated Patients (10 minutes)

  • Strategies for de-escalating agitated patients
  • Ensuring the safety of both the patient and healthcare providers

Referrals and Follow-up Care (10 minutes)

  • Determining appropriate referrals based on the clinical presentation
  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals for ongoing care

Conclusion and Q&A Session (5 minutes)

Summary of key takeaways

Who Should Attend

The course on managing illicit drug-related chest pain is designed for healthcare professionals working in primary care settings who may encounter patients with chest pain and suspect illicit drug use as a contributing factor. The course is suitable for:

  1. General Practitioners (GPs)
  2. Nurse Practitioners
  3. Physician Assistants
  4. Paramedics
  5. Registered Nurses
  6. Pharmacists
  7. Medical Students and Residents

It is beneficial for healthcare professionals who are involved in the assessment, diagnosis, and management of patients with chest pain and want to enhance their knowledge and skills in managing cases involving illicit drug use. 

Lecturer: Dr Sam Thenabadu

Dr Sam Thenabadu Paediatric A&E Consultant and Clinical Educator

This is a live, interactive webinar

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