Dr. Mike Abernethy pens commentary on cranial burr holes in the ED


At the request of his Irish colleagues, Chief Flight Physician Dr. Michael Abernethy wrote a commentary to their case study about emergently placed cranial burr holes in the emergency department when neurosurgery is not available. The commentary and original case study were published in Emergency Medicine Journal (EMJ), an international peer review journal covering pre-hospital and hospital emergency medicine, and critical care.

"This EMJ case study is a perfect illustration that emergency craniostomy can be safely and effectively delivered by properly equipped and trained non-surgeon physicians (Emergency Medicine consultants) under circumstances that would otherwise result in a dismal outcome."

Full commentary: download PDF | read online

Original case study: download PDF | read online

In additional to his certification in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Abernethy is a Faculty and Fellow of Sports and Exercise Medicine with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and is the first American to earn a diploma in Retrieval and Transfer Medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is instructor/faculty with the UK's renowned Anesthesia, Trauma & Critical Care Group (ATACC), and was recently named the first American examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in their section of prehospital care. With over 30 years continuous experience and thousands of patient transports, he is one of the world’s most experienced helicopter flight physicians.

Other than his career in medicine, Dr. Abernethy has been an EMT, steelworker, metallurgical engineer, military air crew and flight surgeon, wildlife rehabilitator and grandfather.