Journal of IiMER Volume 13 Issue 1 Invest in ME Research Perceptions of Care in a Hospital’s Emergency Department Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA *Both authors contributed equally to this work A very useful recent paper published by Timbol and Baraniuk discusses Emergency Department visits by ME/CFS patients. "CFS patients present to the ED with a complex list of chronic symptoms, but the acute reasons for presentation are related to orthostatic intolerance, fatigue, PEM, and diarrhea." Professor James Baraniuk - Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Centre, Washington, USA - is a regular at IiMER colloquiums and conferences and always has very interesting and useful contributions. "This is of importance because it provides a starting point for diagnosis and treatment by ED physicians," Baraniuk said. "This condition is something that can be readily addressed by ED caregivers," he said. "There is a real need for physician education that will improve their efficiency in identifying and treating CFS, and in distinguishing CFS symptoms from other diseases in the exam room." "These patients should feel they are respected and that they can receive thorough care when they feel sick enough to go to an ED," Baraniuk said in a Georgetown news release." Here is the abstract. Chronic fatigue syndrome in the emergency department Available from DovePress https://www.dovepress.com/chronic-fatiguesyndrome-in-the-emergency-department-peerreviewed-fulltext-article-OAEM Christian R Timbol,* James N Baraniuk* Invest in ME Research (Charity Nr. 1153730) Purpose: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating disease characterized by fatigue, postexertional malaise, cognitive dysfunction, sleep disturbances, and widespread pain. A pilot, online survey was used to determine the common presentations of CFS patients in the emergency department (ED) and attitudes about their encounters. Methods: The anonymous survey was created to score the severity of core CFS symptoms, reasons for going to the ED, and Likert scales to grade attitudes and impressions of care. Open text fields were qualitatively categorized to determine common themes about encounters. Results: Fifty-nine percent of respondents with physician-diagnosed CFS (total n=282) had gone to an ED. One-third of ED presentations were consistent with orthostatic intolerance; 42% of participants were dismissed as having psychosomatic complaints. ED staff were not knowledgeable about CFS. Encounters were unfavorable (3.6 on 10-point scale). The remaining 41% of subjects did not go to ED, stating nothing could be done or they would not be taken seriously. CFS subjects can be identified by a CFS questionnaire and the prolonged presence (>6 months) of unremitting fatigue, cognitive, sleep, and postexertional malaise problems. Conclusion: This is the first investigation of the presentation of CFS in the ED and indicates the importance of orthostatic intolerance as the most frequent acute cause for a visit. The self-report CFS questionnaire may be useful as a screening instrument in the ED. Education of ED staff about modern concepts of CFS is necessary to improve patient and staff satisfaction. Guidance is provided for the diagnosis and treatment of CFS in these challenging encounters. investinme.org Page 20 of 52

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