A lot of hashtags come and go on Twitter, but some have true staying power. The #FOAMed hashtag, of course, is the most recognized hashtag in the emergency medicine Twitterverse and has been going strong since 2012. Typically, #FOAMed amasses between 1,000 and 1,500 tweets on any given day, and during conferences, the number skyrockets. If you were to only search Twitter for the #FOAMed hashtag, you’d still be drinking from a fire hose.
While the #FOAMed hashtag was supposed to help narrow down the Twitter noise into only “the good stuff” for people like emergency physicians, its popularity and ubiquity has made it a victim of its own success. As a result, subniche hashtags have sprouted up, and many of them feature consistently reliable, high-quality tweets about various areas of interest.
A relatively new hashtag that seems to have staying power is #PostItPearls. The idea is that a Post-it note can handle the same amount of information as a good lecture slide.
The best part is that you can make a high-yield Post-it and share it with the resident you are working with. You can then stick it onto your desk or the side of your computer screen so that if Resident A happens to be sewing up a laceration when you are teaching Resident B, Resident A can get in on some of the action later if they happen to see it. Even better, you can snap a photo of it on your phone and tweet it out, so thousands of learners can see it online. Noted emergency medicine educators such as Rob Cooney, MD, MEd (@EMEducation), and Michelle Lin, MD (@M_Lin), have been active contributors to the #PostItPearls movement. Dr. Cooney proves that the San Francisco syncope rule can fit on one Post-it (and so does the Ottawa ankle rule). Dr. Lin’s Post-it on the Rule of 150 for acetaminophen toxicity is permanently saved in the Post-it Pearls pictures folder on my phone. (The toxic dose of acetaminophen is 150 mg/kg, the four-hour toxic level is 150 µg/mL, and the first dose of the N-acetylcysteine antidote is 150mg/kg.) Of course, Amal Mattu, MD, FACEP (@AmalMattu), is old-fashioned. He likes to tweet photos of the whiteboard teaching pearls from his shifts. However, as Anand Swaminathan MD, MPH (@EMSwami), mentioned in his post on the Core EM blog about #PostItPearls, who the heck has a whiteboard in the emergency department anymore? So it’s back to good old paper and pen (or Sharpie, for maximal clarity).
For those of us who see some but not enough children in our emergency departments: to feel up-to-date on the latest and greatest in pediatrics, the #FOAMped (and #FOAMpeds) hashtag can be helpful.
Pediatric emergency physician Sean Fox, MD, FACEP, FAAP (@PedEmMorsels), recently tweeted a link to his blog, PedEmMorsels.com, highlighting the management of the child with congenital adrenal hyperplasia presenting in shock. In short, treat the electrolyte imbalances, and give a bolus of IV hydrocortisone initially at 1–2 mg/kg. This blog is a great pediatric resource, covering topics from trampoline injuries to short videos demonstrating important pediatric procedures. Included is one on transtracheal jet ventilation, which, while simple in theory, is a procedure that I would be scared to perform.
From #FOAMcc (critical care) to #FOAMtox (toxicology), you can use the search tool to find outstanding medical information in just about any niche that strikes your fancy.
Recently, a flurry of #FOAMped tweets came out of a new conference held in Brisbane, Australia (#DFTB17). They were put out by the pediatric emergency medicine blogger team at DontForgetTheBubbles.com. The blog’s cofounders, Tessa Davis, MSc, MBChB (@TessaRDavis), Andy Tagg, MBBS (@AndrewJTagg), Henry Goldstein, MBBS (@HenryGoldstein), and Ben Lawton, MBBS, FRACP (@PaedsEM), were at the helm of this successful new conference focused on pediatric emergencies and the art of pediatric medical practice. I am pleased to report that a third FOAM pediatrics hashtag featuring the more British/Australian spelling of the word (#FOAMpaeds) indeed exists, but it has not yet taken off, so we can chalk one up for the Americans.
Perhaps, the most active sub-FOAM hashtag of them all is the one used by point-of-care ultrasound experts and enthusiasts: #FOAMus. This hashtag has become particularly valuable since Twitter started allowing short videos to be embedded directly into tweets. Short looping videos of ultrasound can now be shared.
Sam Ghali, MD (@EM_Resus), is a master at creating them. In one recent video, he showed a stunningly clear example of echocardiographic findings of cardiac tamponade. Right ventricular and atrial collapse, an underfilled left ventricle, a heart “swinging” around from side to side, and, of course, a massive pericardial effusion are all pristinely labeled. That’s why it has been retweeted more than 430 times and viewed by tens of thousands of grateful FOAM-heads like me.
There are many other hashtags like these. From #FOAMcc (critical care) to #FOAMtox (toxicology), you can use the search tool to find outstanding medical information in just about any niche that strikes your fancy.
So far, I am sad to report that my valiant attempt to get the new hashtag #TwitterIsForMedicalEducationAndResearchDissemination trending just hasn’t materialized. I can’t figure out why!