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Journal update monthly top five
  1. Ffion Barham1,
  2. Robert Hywel James1,2,
  3. Christopher Humphries1,
  4. Henry Shirreff1,
  5. Stacey Webster1,
  6. Felix Wood1,
  7. Jason E Smith1,3,
  8. Laura Cottey3
  1. 1 Emergency Department, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth, UK
  2. 2 Devon Air Ambulance Trust, Devon, UK
  3. 3 Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laura Cottey, Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, B15 2SQ, UK; laurajcottey{at}

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This month’s update is from the Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust. We used a multimodal search strategy, drawing on free open-access medical education resources and literature searches. We identified the five most interesting and relevant papers (decided by consensus) and highlighted the main findings, key limitations and clinical bottom line for each paper.

The papers are ranked as:

  • Worth a peek—interesting, but not yet ready for prime time.

  • Head turner—new concepts.

  • Game changer—this paper could/should change practice.

Efficacy and safety of non-antibiotic outpatient treatment in mild acute diverticulitis (DINAMO study): a multicentre, randomised, open-label, non-inferiority trial by Mora-Lóez et al

Topic: abdominal pain

Rating: head turner

Standard practice for treatment of diverticulitis without abscess, poor pain control or other systemic symptoms is discharge with antibiotics. In this Spanish study, Mora-López et al 1 demonstrate that discharging patients with symptomatic management (ibuprofen and paracetamol) is not inferior to symptomatic treatment plus with co-amoxiclav. Their patient group (n=480) were adults under 80 years with no significant comorbidities and CT-confirmed mild diverticulitis (defined using a previously derived and published scoring system). Of note, the study excluded patients with angina in the last 3 months, chronic kidney disease or diabetes with end organ dysfunction.

No significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of re-attendance to ED, admission for uncontrolled symptoms, pain control or recovery at 90 days. Importantly, no participants required emergency surgery at any point in the study.

Implementation of this management framework would require all patients with suspected diverticulitis to have a CT scan to define severity before treatment decided, but this may be a useful tool to prevent overnight inpatient bed admissions.

Bottom line

This is another piece of evidence that could prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics and reduce harm from overtreatment, but should be interpreted with caution in very elderly patients or those with significant comorbidities.

Safety of thoracentesis and tube thoracostomy in patients with uncorrected coagulopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis by Fong et al

Topic: trauma

Rating: worth a peek

Correction of reversible coagulopathy is commonly undertaken before invasive procedures, but is in itself …

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  • Twitter @Rob209no, @lauracottey

  • Contributors All authors have contributed in line with the ICMJE guidelines.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.