Archives

Diagnostic Acumen

Asymmetrical Bilateral Hip Dislocation

Author Affiliation Bruce M. Lo, MD  Eastern Virginia Medical School, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Norfolk, Virginia A previously healthy 36-year-old male who was a restrained driver presented with bilateral hip pain after a motor vehicle collision (MVC) put his vehicle in a ditch. On examination, the patient was alert and oriented […]

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Injury Outcomes

Riding the Escalator: How Dangerous is it Really?

Intro: About 10,000 escalator-related injuries per year result in emergency department treatment in the United States. Since the 1990s, a steady increase has been reported, but few statistics on escalator-related injuries have been published worldwide.
Conclusion: Escalator accidents can result in severe trauma. Significant gender differences in escalator accidents have been observed. Alcohol intoxication and age are significant risk factors in escalator-related accidents and might be possible targets for preventive measures.

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Bedside Ultrasound in a Case of Blunt Scrotal Trauma

This case study describes a patient who suffered blunt force trauma to the scrotum. Use of bedside emergency ultrasound facilitated early diagnosis of a ruptured testicle and allowed for prompt urological consultation and timely surgical repair. The utility of bedside emergency ultrasound in the evaluation of testicular trauma, as well as the outcome of our case, is discussed here.

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Clinician-performed Beside Ultrasound for the Diagnosis of Traumatic Pneumothorax

Intro: Prior studies have reported conflicting results regarding the utility of ultrasound in the diagnosis of traumatic pneumothorax (PTX) because they have used sonologists with extensive experience. This study evaluates the characteristics of ultrasound for PTX for a large cohort of trauma and emergency physicians.
Conclusion: In a large heterogenous group of clinicians who typically care for trauma patients, the sonographic evaluation for pneumothorax was as accurate as supine chest radiography. Thoracic ultrasound may be helpful in the initial evaluation of patients with truncal trauma.

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Unusual Cause of Cardiac Compression in a Trauma Patient: Cystic Thymoma

A 29-year-old man with sudden onset of dyspnea and chest pain with impairment of the general status after falling down from five meters was transferred to our emergency department. He was completely asymptomatic before the injury, but hypotensive (80/50 mmHg) and tachycardic (112 beats/minute) after the injury. Chest radiograph revealed a bulging cardiac silhouette on the right paracardiac region with an increased cardiothoracic ratio of 70%.

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Sonographic Consensual Pupillary Reflex

Patients suffering from severe orbital trauma are at risk for numerous complications, including orbital compartment syndromes. This can result in an afferent pupillary defect, which must be evaluated for on physical examination. Unfortunately, these at-risk patients are often challenging to examine properly due to surrounding edema. Point-of-care ultrasonography can be used as an adjunct to the standard examination in this situation.

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Injury Outcomes

Occult Pneumothoraces in Acute Trauma Patients

Introduction: Many traumatic pneumothoraces (PTX) are not seen on initial chest radiograph (CR) (occult PTX) but are detected only on computed tomography (CT). The primary objective of this study was to retrospectively determine the effectiveness of CR for detecting PTX in trauma patients.

Conclusion: Factors associated with PTX on CR included air in the soft tissue on CR and size of the PTX. Even when PTX is not apparent on CR, 44% of these PTXs received placement of a chest tube.

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Emergency Physician Estimation of Blood Loss

Emergency physicians (EP) frequently estimate blood loss, which can have implications for clinical care. The objectives of this study were to examine EP accuracy in estimating blood loss on different surfaces and compare attending physician and resident performance.

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Benefit of a Tiered-Trauma Activation System to Triage Dead-on-Arrival Patients

Author Affiliation Omar K Danner, MD Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Atlanta, Georgia Kenneth L Wilson, MD Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Atlanta, Georgia Sheryl Heron, MD, MPH Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia Yusuf Ahmed, MD King Saud University, Department of Epidemiology, College of Pharmacy, […]

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Injury Prevention

Healthcare Outcome Disparities in Trauma Care

Author Affiliation Omar K Danner, MD Department of Surgery, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia L Ray Matthews, MD Department of Surgery, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia Kenneth L Wilson, MD Department of Surgery, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia Sheryl L Heron, MD, MPH Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, […]

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Violent and Fatal Youth Trauma: Is There a Missed Opportunity?

As 5-year mortality rates for recidivism are as high as 20%, it is important to determine whether victims with a history of violent trauma are at increased risk for fatal outcome with their next trauma. We hypothesized that victims of violent trauma who have had 1 prior ED visit for violent trauma will have increased odds of fatal outcome.

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Unilateral Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia after Minor Head Injury

Internuclear ophthalmoplegia is a rare condition caused by injury to the medial longitudinal fasciculus in the brainstem. It usually occurs in conditions such as stroke or multiple sclerosis and is extremely rare after head injury. We report a case of unilateral internuclear ophthalmoplegia, which occurred after a minor head injury in a young male. His only symptoms were headache and diplopia. He was treated conservatively, and his symptoms settled after 3 months.

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Severe Open Ankle Sprain

A healthy 19-year-old male presented with complaints of right ankle pain. Twelve hours before, he had jumped off a skateboard, inverting and abrading his right ankle.

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Blunt Abdominal Trauma Patients Are at Very Low Risk for Intra-Abdominal Injury after Emergency Department Observation

The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of intra-abdominal injury (IAI) and death in hemodynamically normal and stable BAT patients with initially negative ED evaluations admitted to an ED observation unit and to define a low-risk subgroup of patients and assess whether they may be discharged without abdominal/pelvic CT or observation.

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Myositis Ossificans

A 35-year-old man presented to the emergency department complaining of right hip pain after being struck by a car while crossing the road. His vital signs were stable, and he complained of right hip pain. He had no other comorbidity. On examination, tenderness and reduced abduction were noted in his right hip, but the gait was normal.

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Adoption of the 2006 Field Triage Decision Scheme for Injured Patients

When emergency medical services (EMS) providers respond to the scene of an injury, they must decide where to transport the injured patients for further evaluation and treatment. This is done through a process known as “field triage”, whereby a patient’s injuries are matched to the most appropriate hospital. In 2005–2006 the National Expert Panel on Field Triage, convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, revised the 1999 American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma Field Triage Decision Scheme. This revision, the 2006 Field Triage Decision Scheme, was published in 2006.

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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
Email: westjem@gmail.com

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WestJEM
ISSN: 1936-900X
e-ISSN: 1936-9018

CPC-EM
ISSN: 2474-252X

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.