Archives

Frail Patient with Abdominal Pain

Volvulus is a frequent condition in patients presenting in the emergency department (ED) with abdominal pain. While cecal volvulus occurs more often in young patients, sigmoid volvulus is more common in elderly patients.

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Orbital Cellulitis and Abscess

A seven-year-old male presented with fever, left-sided facial redness, swelling and proptosis over a 24-hour period. He had noted left-sided toothache and rhinorrhea over the preceding week. On presentation, he stated that he was unable to see “anything, including light” from his left eye.

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Acute Stroke from Air Embolism After Leg Sclerotherapy

A previously healthy 38-year-old woman, with no significant past medical history, presented to the emergency department with acute onset of weakness after outpatient sclerotherapy. She had two milliliters of 0.5% foamed tetradecylsulfate injected into right lower extremity varicose veins. Twenty minutes after completion of the procedure, she had acute onset of right upper and lower extremity weakness.

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Massive Empyema

A 22-year-old man presented to a rural Ugandan clinic with three months of progressive dyspnea. He described a non-productive cough and subjective fevers and chills. He appears mildly dyspneic but is in no acute distress.

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Intestinal Angioedema Misdiagnosed as Recurrent Episodes of Gastroenteritis

Emergency physicians (EP) frequently encounter angioedema involving the lips and tongue. However, angioedema from Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors or hereditary angioedema (HAE) can present with gastrointestinal symptoms due to bowel wall involvement. EPs should begin to consider this clinical entity as a potential cause for abdominal pain and associated gastrointestinal symptoms given the common use of medications that can precipitate angioedema. We report a case of a 34-year-old woman who presented with abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea due to an acute exacerbation of HAE.

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Idiopathic Ventricular Tachycardia: Belhassen Type

A healthy 26 year-old G3P2 12 weeks pregnant with twins presented to the emergency department after the abrupt onset of palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath and chest pain. An initial electrocardiogram demonstrated frequent preventricular contractions, which progressed to runs of sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT)

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Echocardiography to Supplement Stress Electrocardiography in Emergency Department Chest Pain Patients

Chest pain (CP) patients in the Emergency Department (ED) present a diagnostic dilemma, with a low prevalence of coronary disease but grave consequences with misdiagnosis. A common diagnostic strategy involves ED cardiac monitoring while excluding myocardial necrosis, followed by stress testing. We sought to describe the use of stress echocardiography (echo) at our institution, to identify cardiac pathology compared with stress electrocardiography (ECG) alone.

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Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Predicts Mortality in Acute Coronary Syndrome without Congestive Heart Failure

High levels of inflammatory biochemical markers are associated with an increased risk among patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The objective of the current study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) among ACS patients with no clinical or radiological evidence of congestive heart failure (CHF).

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Therapeutic Hypothermia Protocol in a Community Emergency Department

Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) has been shown to improve survival and neurological outcome in patients resuscitated after out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) from ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia (VF/VT). We evaluated the effects of using a TH protocol in a large community hospital emergency department (ED) for all patients with neurological impairment after resuscitated OHCA regardless of presenting rhythm. We hypothesized improved mortality and neurological outcomes without increased complication rates.

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Emergency Department Activation of Interventional Cardiology to Reduce Door-to-Balloon Time

To determine if ED activation of interventional cardiology could significantly improve reperfusion times and reach the ACC/AHA target of 90 minutes or less in a safety net hospital, a Level I trauma center and teaching hospital serving primarily uninsured and underinsured patient population with door-to-balloon times ranking in the lowest quartile of United States hospitals.

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Ed Administration

Impact on Length of Stay After Introduction of Emergency Department Information System

An electronic emergency department information system (EDIS) can monitor the progress of a patient visit, facilitate computerized physician order entry, display test results and generate an electronic medical record. Ideally, use of an EDIS will increase overall emergency department (ED) efficiency. However, in academic settings where new interns rotate through the ED monthly, the “learning curve” experienced by the new EDIS user may slow down patient care. In this study, we measured the impact of the “intern learning curve” on patient length of stay (LOS).

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Ed Administration

Occupancy Rates and Emergency Department Work Index Scores Correlate with Leaving Without Being Seen

Two crowding metrics are often used to measure emergency department (ED) crowding: the occupancy rate and the emergency department work index (EDWIN) score. To evaluate these metrics for applicability in our community ED, we sought to measure their correlation with the number of patients who left without being seen (LWBS) and determine if either, or both, correlated with our daily LWBS rate. We hypothesized a statistically significant positive correlation between the number of patients who LWBS and both crowding metrics.

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Ultrasound Detection of Lung Hepatization

Bedside ultrasound interrogation of the thorax can aide the clinician in determining the cause of the respiratory dysfunction. Often plain radiographs are not sufficient to differentiate pathology. We present a case in which bedside ultrasound defined the pathology without the need for further imaging.

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Ultrasound Use and “Overuse”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General has issued a report concerning “high use” and “questionable use” ultrasound. Findings include those geographic areas where occurrences are most frequent, as well as the most common elements that characterize questionable use. While not its primary focus, emergency physician performed bedside ultrasound is within the scope of the report. Implications for emergency ultrasound are discussed and practice recommendations made for minimizing regulatory exposure for emergency physicians and departments.

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Education

Variability in Ultrasound Education among Emergency Medicine Residencies

Education in emergency ultrasound (EUS) has become an essential part of emergency medicine (EM) resident training. In 2009, comprehensive residency training guidelines were published to ensure proficiency in ultrasound education. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recommends that 150 ultrasound exams be performed for physician competency. Our goal is to evaluate the current ultrasound practices among EM residency programs and assess the need for further formalization of EUS training.

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Ultrasound-Guided Three-In-One Nerve Block for Femur Fractures

Femur fractures typically affect elderly patients with multiple co-morbidities. Pain control can be difficult, requiring intensive nursing and physician care as elderly patients may manifest cardiovascular and respiratory complications from opiate administration. Ultrasound (US)-guided three-in-one (3-in-1) femoral nerve block (FNB) is an option for pain management in patients with femur fractures, as it provides regional anesthesia to the femoral, obturator and lateral cutaneous nerves. Our goal is to provide medical education regarding the use of US-guided 3-in-1FNB as a rapid and easy procedure that may provide optimal patient care in patients with femur fractures.

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Ultrasound Diagnosis of Bilateral Quadriceps Tendon Rupture After Statin Use

Simultaneous bilateral quadriceps tendon rupture is a rare injury. We report the case of bilateral quadriceps tendon rupture sustained with minimal force while refereeing a football game. The injury was suspected to be associated with statin use as the patient had no other identifiable risk factors. The diagnosis was confirmed using bedside ultrasound.

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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.