Case Report

Burn-induced Myxedema Crisis

Ann S. Batista, MD, et al.

Myxedema crisis (MC) is a rare but life-threatening illness characterized by multi-system organ impairment from thyroid hormone deficiency that is often brought on by an eliciting event. We present the case of MC with a rapid progression of hypothermia, altered mental status, and respiratory failure that was instigated by a flash burn to the face.

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Intermittent Ovarian Torsion in Pregnancy

Randall Young, MD, MMM, et al.

Ovarian torsion should be considered a clinical diagnosis, and a high level of clinical suspicion is needed by the practitioner to ensure that this diagnosis is not missed. We present an unusual case of intermittent ovarian torsion discussing both the presentation and the operative and post-operative management.

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Bilateral Chylothorax Due to Blunt Trauma Without Radiographic Evidence of Traumatic Injury

Mohamed Mohamed, MD, et al.

We report a case of a 51-year-old patient who developed bilateral chylothorax after sustaining blunt trauma without radiographic evidence of traumatic injury. A 51-year-old male presented to the emergency department complaining of progressively worsening shortness of breath and associated chest pain for the prior one week following a fall down several concrete steps.

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Spinal Epidural Abscess Complicated by Meningitis, Sepsis and Thrombocytopenia in a Patient Lacking Traditional Risk Factors

Christian Spano, MD, et al.

Spinal epidural abscess is a rare diagnosis with a classic triad of fever, spinal pain and neurologic deficits. Only a small proportion of patients have all three findings, making the diagnosis challenging. Here we present a case of cervical and thoracic spinal epidural abscess complicated by meningitis, sepsis and thrombocytopenia in a patient lacking traditional risk factors.

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Normokalemic Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis with Acute Resolution in the Emergency Department

James I. Gragg, DO, et al.

Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis is a rare cause of acute paralysis in the emergency department (ED). The disorder is generally thought to be due to acute hypokalemia leading to paralysis. Treatment is generally targeted at correcting the thyrotoxic state with careful potassium repletion. We present a rare case of normokalemic, thyrotoxic periodic paralysis with acute resolution while in the ED.

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Critical Care

First Report of Survival in Refractory Ventricular Fibrillation After Dual-Axis Defibrillation and Esmolol Administration

Kevin M. Boehm, DO, MSc et al.

here is a subset of patients who suffer a witnessed ventricular fibrillation (VF) arrest and despite receiving reasonable care with medications (epinephrine and amiodarone) and multiple defibrillations (3+ attempts at 200 joules of biphasic current) remain in refractory VF (RVF), also known as electrical storm. The mortality for these patients is as high as 97%. We present the case of a patient who, with a novel approach, survived RVF to outpatient follow up.

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Diagnostic Acumen

Rapid Diagnosis of Rhabdomyolysis with Point-of-Care Ultrasound

Alicia Nassar, BS et al.

It is important to rapidly diagnosis and treat rhabdomyolysis in order to decrease morbidity and mortality. To date there are no reports in the emergency medicine literature on the use of point-of-care ultrasound in the diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis.

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Diagnostic Acumen

E-cigarette Blast Injury: Complex Facial Fractures and Pneumocephalus

Benjamin A. Archambeau, DO et al.

Electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes or e-cigs) are becoming a popular method of recreational nicotine use over recent years. The growth of new brands and devices has been outpacing the FDA’s ability to regulate them. As a result, some of these devices fail without warning, most likely from malfunction of the lithium-ion batteries that are in close proximity to volatile compounds within the device.

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Diagnostic Acumen

Large Posterior Communicating Artery Aneurysm: Initial Presentation with Reproducible Facial Pain Without Cranial Nerve Deficit

Stacie Zelman, MD et al.

Unruptured posterior communicating artery (PCOM) aneurysms can be difficult to diagnose and, when large (≥ 7mm), represent a substantial risk to the patient. While most unruptured PCOM aneurysms are asymptomatic, when symptoms do occur, clinical manifestations typically include severe headache (HA), visual acuity loss, and cranial nerve deficit. This case report describes an atypical initial presentation of a large unruptured PCOM aneurysm with symptoms mimicking trigeminal neuralgia, without other associated cranial nerve palsies or neurologic deficits.

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Role of Ultrasound in the Identification of Longitudinal Axis in Soft-Tissue Foreign Body Extraction

Al Lulla, MD et al.

Identification and retrieval of soft-tissue foreign bodies (STFB) poses significant challenges in the emergency department. Prior studies have demonstrated the utility of ultrasound (US) in identification and retrieval of STFBs, including radiolucent objects such as wood. We present a case of STFB extraction that uses US to identify the longitudinal axis of the object. With the longitudinal axis identified, the foreign body can be excised by making an incision where the foreign body is closest to the skin. The importance of this technique as it pertains to minimizing surrounding tissue destruction and discomfort for patients has not been previously reported.

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Point-of-Care Sonographic Findings in Acute Upper Airway Edema

Michael Schick, DO, MA et al.

We describe a case where a patient presented with acute angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-I) induced angioedema without signs or symptoms of upper airway edema beyond lip swelling. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) was used as an initial diagnostic test and identified left-sided subglottic upper airway edema that was immediately confirmed with indirect fiberoptic laryngoscopy. ACE-I induced angioedema and the historical use of ultrasound in evaluation of the upper airway is briefly discussed. To our knowledge, POCUS has not been used to identify acute upper airway edema in the emergency setting. Further investigation is needed to determine if POCUS is a sensitive and specific-enough tool for the identification and evaluation of acute upper airway edema.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

333 The City Blvd. West, Rt 128-01
Suite 640
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389

Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.