December 14, 2012

Student wins Best Medical Student Paper Award from American College of Emergency Physicians

A Wayne State University School of Medicine student has been recognized by the American College of Emergency Physicians for the Best Medical Student Paper presented at the organization's 2012 Research Forum.

Thomas Engel II, a third-year medical student, won the honor for his paper, "End Tidal CO vs. Cerebral Oximetry for Monitoring CPR Quality and Determination of Return of Spontaneous Circulation."

"I am excited to represent our amazing team of physicians, nurses and assistants who worked so diligently on this project," said Engel, originally from Chicago. "I only hope our continued research can translate into improved patient care."

The quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation during cardiac arrest is critically important to maintain oxygen delivery to the brain, heart and other organs. To measure this quality, Engel and colleagues use End Tidal CO2, the level of carbon dioxide exhaled from the body. However, Engel said, this modality is dependent on highly variable factors such as ventilation rate and advanced cardiovascular support medications. Cerebral oximetry measures oxygen saturation in the frontal lobes of the brain. "We believe that if medical providers measure CPR quality by cerebral oximetry, it will allow them to both increase (the number of) and detect patients with return of spontaneous circulation," he said.

"This award is a big deal," said Brian O'Neil, M.D., interim chair of WSU Emergency Medicine and the Edward S. Thomas Endowed Professor of Emergency Medicine. "Thomas is very modest, but there are two national meetings for academic emergency medicine and this is by far the largest. There is one award for the best medical student presentation and Tom did an excellent job and has been tireless in this project."

Engel, who plans to practice trauma-critical care because he prefers its combination of immediate care, long-term medicine and quick procedures, will attend the ACEP's Scientific Assembly in Seattle to accept the award. A date for the assembly has not yet been announced.