Episode 10: Hypocalcemia

With Ricky Ditzel, FP-C

In this episode, Ricky Ditzel joins us to discuss the role of calcium in trauma patients. 

Ricky is a former critical care flight paramedic for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), currently a pre-medical student at Colombia University, and the lead author of a groundbreaking paper on the role of calcium in the decompensation cycle in trauma. Ricky talks with us about how calcium works in the body, how trauma induces hypocalcemia, and how the flight medic can use calcium during trauma resuscitation.

Ricky’s original article in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery:

  • Ditzel RM Jr, Anderson JL, Eisenhart WJ, et al. A review of transfusion- and trauma-induced hypocalcemia: Is it time to change the lethal triad to the lethal diamond?. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2020;88(3):434-439. doi:10.1097/TA.0000000000002570 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31876689/

The recent article in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine:

  • Wray JP, Bridwell RE, Schauer SG, Shackelford SA, Bebarta VS, Wright FL, Long B. The diamond of death: Hypocalcemia in trauma and resuscitation. Am J Emer Med. 2021 Mar;41(1):104-109. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2020.12.065

Ricky mentions a study in which 97% of transfusion patients were hypocalcemic. That study is here:

  • Wray JP, Bridwell RE, Schauer SG, et al. The diamond of death: Hypocalcemia in trauma and resuscitation. Am J Emerg Med. 2021;41:104-109. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2020.12.065 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33421674/

If you want to use this episode as part of your Tables III medical training, use the following tasks per TC 8-800.

  • 081-833-0034 Manage an Intravenous Infusion
  • 081-835-3002 Administer Medications by IV Piggy Back

Check out the episode below, or wherever you listen!

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