Clinical Focus

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Medical Services

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Fellowship: Stanford University Emergency Medical Services Fellowship (2016) CA
  • Residency: Stanford University Emergency Medicine Residency (2015) CA
  • Medical Education: University of California at Irvine School of Medicine Registrar (2012) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medical Services (2019)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine (2016)

All Publications

  • Development and implementation of a novel Web-based gaming application to enhance emergency medical technician knowledge in low- and middle-income countries. AEM education and training Lindquist, B., Gaiha, S. M., Vasudevan, A., Dooher, S., Leggio, W., Mulkerin, W., Zozula, A., Strehlow, M., Sebok-Syer, S. S., Mahadevan, S. V. 2021; 5 (3): e10602


    Background: Increasing access to high-quality emergency and prehospital care is an important priority in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, ensuring that emergency medical technicians (EMTs) maintain their clinical knowledge and proficiency with procedural skills is challenging, as continuing education requirements are still being introduced, and clinical instructional efforts need strengthening. We describe the development and implementation of an innovative asynchronous learning tool for EMTs in the form of a Web-based trivia game.Methods: Over 500 case-based multiple-choice questions (covering 10 essential prehospital content areas) were created by experts in prehospital education, piloted with EMT educators from LMICs, and delivered to EMTs through a Web-based quiz game platform over a 12-week period. We enrolled 252 participants from nine countries.Results: Thirty-two participants (12.7%) completed the entire 12-week game. Participants who completed the game were administered a survey with a 100% response rate. Ninety-three percent of participants used their mobile phone to access the game. Overall, participants reported that the interface was easy to use (93.8% agreed or strongly agreed), the game improved their knowledge (100% agreed or strongly agreed), and they felt better prepared for their jobs (100% agreed or strongly agreed). The primary motivators for participation were improving patient care (37.5%) and being recognized on the game's leaderboard (31.3%). All participants reported that they would engage in the game again (43.8% agreed and 56.3% strongly agreed) and would recommend the game to their colleagues (34.4% agreed and 65.6% strongly agreed).Conclusions: In conclusion, a quiz game targeting EMT learners from LMICs was viewed as accessible and effective by participants. Future efforts should focus on increasing retention and trialing languages in addition to English.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/aet2.10602

    View details for PubMedID 34124530

  • SARS-CoV-2 IgG Seropositivity and Acute Asymptomatic Infection Rate Among Firefighter First Responders in an Early Outbreak County in California. Prehospital emergency care : official journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the National Association of State EMS Directors Newberry, J. A., Gautreau, M., Staats, K., Carrillo, E., Mulkerin, W., Yang, S., Kohn, M. A., Matheson, L., Boyd, S. D., Pinsky, B. A., Blomkalns, A. L., Strehlow, M. C., D'Souza, P. A. 2021: 1–10


    Objective: Firefighter first responders and other emergency medical services (EMS) personnel have been among the highest risk healthcare workers for illness during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We sought to determine the rate of seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies and of acute asymptomatic infection among firefighter first responders in a single county with early exposure in the pandemic.Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of clinically active firefighters cross-trained as paramedics or EMTs in the fire departments of Santa Clara County, California. Firefighters without current symptoms were tested between June and August 2020. Our primary outcomes were rates of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody seropositivity and SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR swab positivity for acute infection. We report cumulative incidence, participant characteristics with frequencies and proportions, and proportion positive and associated relative risk (with 95% confidence intervals).Results: We enrolled 983 out of 1339 eligible participants (response rate: 73.4%). Twenty-five participants (2.54%, 95% CI 1.65-3.73) tested positive for IgG antibodies and 9 (0.92%, 95% CI 0.42-1.73) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR. Our cumulative incidence, inclusive of self-reported prior positive PCR tests, was 34 (3.46%, 95% CI 2.41-4.80).Conclusion: In a county with one of the earliest outbreaks in the United States, the seroprevalence among firefighter first responders was lower than that reported by other studies of frontline health care workers, while the cumulative incidence remained higher than that seen in the surrounding community.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/10903127.2021.1912227

    View details for PubMedID 33819128

  • Prehospital Identification of Large Vessel Occlusions Using Modified National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in neurology Mulkerin, W. D., Spokoyny, I., Francisco, J. T., Lima, B., Corry, M. D., Nudelman, M. J., Niknam, K., Brown, I. P., Kohn, M. A., Govindarajan, P. 2021; 12: 643356


    Stroke identification is a key step in acute ischemic stroke management. Our objectives were to prospectively examine the agreement between prehospital and hospital Modified National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (mNIHSS) assessments as well as assess the prehospital performance characteristics of the mNIHSS for identification of large vessel occlusion strokes. Method: In this prospective cohort study conducted over a 20-month period (11/2016-6/2018), we trained 40 prehospital providers (paramedics) in Emergency Neurological Life Support (ENLS) curriculum and in mNIHSS. English-speaking patients aged 18 and above transported for an acute neurological deficit were included. Using unique identifiers, we linked the prehospital assessment records to the hospital record. We calculated the agreement between prehospital and hospital mNIHSS scores using the Bland-Altman analysis and the sensitivity and specificity of the prehospital mNIHSS. Results: Of the 31 patients, the mean difference (prehospital mNIHSS-hospital mNIHSS) was 2.4, 95% limits of agreement (-5.2 to 10.0); 10 patients (32%) met our a priori imaging definition of large vessel occlusion and the sensitivity of mNIHSS ≥ 8 was 6/10 or 0.60 (95% CI: 0.26-0.88) and the specificity was 13/21 or 0.62 (95% CI: 0.38-0.82), respectively. Conclusions: We were able to train prehospital providers to use the prehospital mNIHSS. Prehospital and hospital mNIHSS had a reasonable level of agreement and and the scale was able to predict large vessel occlusions with moderate sensitivity.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fneur.2021.643356

    View details for PubMedID 34054691

  • Paramedic Detection of Large Vessel Occlusions Using mNIHSS: A Prospective Cohort Pilot Study. Mulkerin, W., Francisco, J., Lima, B., Spokoyny, I., Gilbert, G., Brown, I., Bernier, E., Niknam, K., Govindarajan, P. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2019
  • Altered Mental Status: Current Evidence-based Recommendations for Prehospital Care WESTERN JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE Sanello, A., Gausche-Hill, M., Mulkerin, W., Sporer, K. A., Brown, J. F., Koenig, K. L., Rudnick, E. M., Salvucci, A. A., Gilbert, G. H. 2018; 19 (3): 527–41


    In the United States emergency medical services (EMS) protocols vary widely across jurisdictions. We sought to develop evidence-based recommendations for the prehospital evaluation and treatment of a patient with an acute change in mental status and to compare these recommendations against the current protocols used by the 33 EMS agencies in the State of California.We performed a literature review of the current evidence in the prehospital treatment of a patient with altered mental status (AMS) and augmented this review with guidelines from various national and international societies to create our evidence-based recommendations. We then compared the AMS protocols of each of the 33 EMS agencies for consistency with these recommendations. The specific protocol components that we analyzed were patient assessment, point-of-care tests, supplemental oxygen, use of standardized scoring, evaluating for causes of AMS, blood glucose evaluation, toxicological treatment, and pediatric evaluation and management.Protocols across 33 EMS agencies in California varied widely. All protocols call for a blood glucose check, 21 (64%) suggest treating adults at <60mg/dL, and half allow for the use of dextrose 10%. All the protocols recommend naloxone for signs of opioid overdose, but only 13 (39%) give specific parameters. Half the agencies (52%) recommend considering other toxicological causes of AMS, often by using the mnemonic AEIOU TIPS. Eight (24%) recommend a 12-lead electrocardiogram; others simply suggest cardiac monitoring. Fourteen (42%) advise supplemental oxygen as needed; only seven (21%) give specific parameters. In terms of considering various etiologies of AMS, 25 (76%) give instructions to consider trauma, 20 (61%) to consider stroke, and 18 (55%) to consider seizure. Twenty-three (70%) of the agencies have separate pediatric AMS protocols; others include pediatric considerations within the adult protocol.Protocols for patients with AMS vary widely across the State of California. The evidence-based recommendations that we present for the prehospital diagnosis and treatment of this condition may be useful for EMS medical directors tasked with creating and revising these protocols.

    View details for PubMedID 29760852

  • Splenic Rupture Diagnosed with Bedside Ultrasound in a Patient with Shock in the Emergency Department Following Colonoscopy. The western journal of emergency medicine Mulkerin, W., Mitarai, T., Gharahbaghian, L., Perera, P. 2015; 16 (5): 758-759

    View details for DOI 10.5811/westjem.2015.6.27548

    View details for PubMedID 26587104

  • NEXUS chest: validation of a decision instrument for selective chest imaging in blunt trauma. JAMA surgery Rodriguez, R. M., Anglin, D., Langdorf, M. I., Baumann, B. M., Hendey, G. W., Bradley, R. N., Medak, A. J., Raja, A. S., Juhn, P., Fortman, J., Mulkerin, W., Mower, W. R. 2013; 148 (10): 940-946


    Chest radiography (chest x-ray [CXR] and chest computed tomography [CT]) is the most common imaging in blunt trauma evaluation. Unnecessary trauma imaging leads to greater costs, emergency department time, and patient exposure to ionizing radiation. OBJECTIVE To validate our previously derived decision instrument (NEXUS Chest) for identification of blunt trauma patients with very low risk of thoracic injury seen on chest imaging (TICI). We hypothesized that NEXUS Chest would have high sensitivity (>98%) for the prediction of TICI and TICI with major clinical significance.From December 2009 to January 2012, we enrolled blunt trauma patients older than 14 years who received chest radiography in this prospective, observational, diagnostic decision instrument study at 9 US level I trauma centers. Prior to viewing radiographic results, physicians recorded the presence or absence of the NEXUS Chest 7 clinical criteria (age >60 years, rapid deceleration mechanism, chest pain, intoxication, abnormal alertness/mental status, distracting painful injury, and tenderness to chest wall palpation).Thoracic injury seen on chest imaging was defined as pneumothorax, hemothorax, aortic or great vessel injury, 2 or more rib fractures, ruptured diaphragm, sternal fracture, and pulmonary contusion or laceration seen on radiographs. An expert panel generated an a priori classification of clinically major, minor, and insignificant TICIs according to associated management changes.Of 9905 enrolled patients, 43.1% had a single CXR, 42.0% had CXR and chest CT, 6.7% had CXR and abdominal CT (without chest CT), 5.5% had multiple CXRs without CT, and 2.6% had chest CT alone in the emergency department. The most common trauma mechanisms were motorized vehicle crash (43.9%), fall (27.5%), pedestrian struck by motorized vehicle (10.7%), bicycle crash (6.3%), and struck by blunt object, fists, or kicked (5.8%). Thoracic injury seen on chest imaging was seen in 1478 (14.9%) patients with 363 (24.6%) of these having major clinical significance, 1079 (73.0%) minor clinical significance, and 36 (2.4%) no clinical significance. NEXUS Chest had a sensitivity of 98.8% (95% CI, 98.1%-99.3%), a negative predictive value of 98.5% (95% CI, 97.6%.6-99.1%), and a specificity of 13.3% (95% CI, 12.6%-14.1%) for TICI. The sensitivity and negative predictive value for TICI with clinically major injury were 99.7% (95% CI, 98.2%-100.0%) and 99.9% (95% CI, 99.4%-100.0%), respectively.We have validated the NEXUS Chest decision instrument, which may safely reduce the need for chest imaging in blunt trauma patients older than 14 years.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamasurg.2013.2757

    View details for PubMedID 23925583