Resident Research

Excellence in education often can be seen as going hand-in-hand with excellence in research innovation.  Penn State Hershey Emergency Medicine, through the educational mission, provides opportunity for motivated residents to go beyond their required academic project to explore areas of personal interest and pursue career goals in areas of research through close ties to the research mission.  Some of the active resident research projects are:

1.  Litell J, Leaming J.  Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOH-CA) GIS mapping in south central Pennsylvania.

The investigators will facilitate the development of a database to identify and locate all OOH-CA in the 8 county region defined as South Central Pennsylvania.  Through contacts made available by the investigator, data from the17 hospitals, 143 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies, the South Central Pennsylvania Counterterrorism Task Force (SCTF), Emergency Health Services Federation (EHSF), the investigators will assemble geo-location data to create a Geospatial Information System (GIS) map of these data elements.  This data may be used for improved situational understanding of the ability of first-responders to provide timely response to OOH-CA in under-served and rural communities of South Central Pennsylvania.  The investigator will gain experience with interaction with a variety of healthcare facilities and allied health professionals, gain an understanding of database development and database management, learn about GIS applications as tools for improved situational understanding and interact with public health agencies working with hospitals to improve patient care.

2.  Kass L, Ali S, Graff G, O'Connell C.  Single-breath counting in the evaluation of pediatric pulmonary function.

Standard ED testing for asthma severity (eg. Peak Expiratory Flow) is problematic in children.  We are investigating Single-Breath Counting as a possible novel tool in the assessment of pulmonary function (especially asthma severity) in children.

3.  Kass L, Sasser J, Bongiovani M, Policare C.  Comparison of vascular pedicle width (VPW) as measures on x-ray with brain-natriuretic peptide (B-NP) in the evaluation of ED patients with possible CHF.

Previous literature has demonstrated that the VPW on a chest x-ray correlates closely with fluid status.  We are attempting to determine if such a correlation exists in an unselected ED population, using B-NP as the comparator

4.  Kass L, Galvan D, Pott L, Litell J.  Teaching and measuring teamwork: Crisis resource management in  trauma resuscitations.

Teamwork is one of the most essential elements of an effective trauma resuscitation, but has never been well characterized.  We are attempting to define the critical elements of teamwork in this environment to develop appropriate teaching & evaluation tools.