Fournier’s gangrene is a severe, necrotizing, and potentially fatal, soft tissue infection of the perineum that can be difficult to diagnose clinically. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has established a critical role in emergency medicine as a quick diagnostic tool due to its safety, accuracy, and cost effectiveness.
Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage is a serious postoperative complication, and its acute management can present a challenge for the emergency provider. Although various strategies have been proposed, guidance on the best approach for management of this condition in the emergency department (ED) setting remains limited. Anecdotal reports of the use of nebulized tranexamic acid (TXA) for management of tonsillar bleeding have emerged over the past two years. Two recently published case reports describe the successful use of nebulized TXA for stabilization of post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage in an adult and a pediatric patient.
This article presents three successfully litigated medical malpractice cases involving emergency physicians and consultants. We discuss the respective case medical diagnoses, as well as established legal principles that determine in a court proceeding which provider will be liable. Specifically, we explain the legal principles of “patient physician relationship” and “affirmative act.”
Systemic weakness is a common chief complaint of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED). A well thought out approach to the assessment and workup of these patients is key to diagnostic accuracy and definitive therapy.
A 63-year-old male with a past medical history of end stage renal disease presented to the emergency department with painful, lower-extremity necrotic ulcerations. Ultrasound and computed tomography imaging showed concerns for calcium deposits. Biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of calciphylaxis, a rare lethal disease.
We present a case of a 59-year-old male who presented to the emergency department with left upper arm pain that started suddenly after lifting some plywood a few days prior. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) was performed, which revealed a rupture of the long head of the biceps tendon.
A 58-year-old female with history of hepatitis C virus presented to the emergency department with a bilateral skin eruption to her feet for one year. Following skin biopsy, the patient was diagnosed with Necrolytic acral erythema (NAE). She was treated with clobetasol ointment, zinc supplementation, and mupirocin, which resulted in improvement in her symptoms.
In this case, we demonstrate how a small radiolucency in the proximal humerus can progress to an even larger problem within a few months in a patient without follow-up. Our patient’s ultimate diagnosis was renal cell carcinoma with metastasis to the right proximal humerus, completely obliterating the affected bone.
An eight-week-old infant presented to the emergency department in cardiac arrest. Return of spontaneous circulation was obtained and the patient subsequently began seizing. Point-of-care ultrasound of the anterior fontanelle revealed an extra-axial fluid collection consistent with subdural hematoma (SDH).
We report a patient with the triad of diabetic ketoacidosis, hypertriglyceridemia, and acute pancreatitis associated with computed tomography hypoperfusion complex and adrenal hyperdensity on abdominal imaging – an association not previously reported in diabetic ketoacidosis.
Approximately 94% of patients with Hirschsprung’s disease (HD) are diagnosed before the age of five. In our case, a young adult with years of constipation presented to the emergency department with significant abdominal distention. He was ultimately diagnosed with HD, which was identified using computed tomography (CT).
A 33-year-old gravid female was brought to the emergency department after she collapsed in the street. Point-of-care ultrasound showed free fluid in the abdomen and confirmed an intrauterine pregnancy. Surgical teams were consulted, and cross-sectional imaging revealed a spontaneously ruptured splenic artery aneurysm (SAA). The patient was taken expeditiously to the operating room for splenic artery ligation and subsequent splenectomy.
We describe a case of an acute myocardial infarction with an atypical electrocardiogram showing a de Winter T-wave pattern suggesting the 100% proximal left anterior descending artery occlusion seen on emergent cardiac catheterization.
A 70-year-old male with prior aorta endovascular aneurysm repair presented with progressive lower extremity weakness over the course of several hours. There was noted loss of palpable bilateral femoral pulses in the emergency department. Computed tomography angiography revealed a kinked and occluded aortic endograft. He subsequently underwent successful axillobifemoral bypass revascularization.
A 38-year-old male presented to the emergency department with methamphetamine-induced agitation. Physical exam showed clouding of the left cornea, with gelatinous appearance and associated conjunctivitis, consistent with corneal melt, or keratolysis.
A 55-year-old woman with a history of end-stage renal disease, peripheral vascular disease, and multiple prior abdominal surgeries presented to the emergency department with three days of diffuse, severe, abdominal pain with accompanying nausea, emesis, and food intolerance. A computed tomography (CT) of her abdomen demonstrated a “whirl” of small bowel and mesenteric vessels, raising suspicion for mesenteric volvulus and resultant small bowel obstruction.
A 30-year-old healthy male presented with a complaint of chest pain after mild thoracic trauma sustained while rescuing stranded flood victims during Hurricane Harvey. Careful physical examination revealed a tender palpable cord along the lateral aspect of his chest consistent with a superficial thrombophlebitis.
Pulmonary artery dissection is a rare condition that is usually diagnosed in patients exhibiting chronic pulmonary arterial hypertension, congenital heart abnormalities or secondary to iatrogenic injury. Diagnosis is often made at autopsy as many patients experience sudden death when the pulmonary artery dissection progresses rapidly and ruptures into the pericardium, resulting in acute cardiac tamponade.
A 48-year-old male who presented with signs and symptoms suggestive of an upper respiratory infection was seen at an urgent care, he had a negative chest radiograph and was discharged. With no other cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state, the patient presented to the emergency department two days later with worsening shortness of breath.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.1 COVID-19 first occurred in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and by March 2020 COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.1
We describe an elderly male presenting to the emergency department with shortness of breath that progressed to hypoxic respiratory failure. Radiography and computed tomography findings were suggestive of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Lemierre syndrome is a rare, potentially fatal, septic thrombophlebitis of the internal jugular vein. Treatment includes intravenous antibiotics for Fusobacterium necrophorum, the most common pathogen, as well as consideration for anticoagulation therapy.
Rectal foreign bodies (RFB) pose a challenge to emergency physicians. Patients are not often forthcoming, which can lead to delays to intervention. Thus, RFBs require a heightened clinical suspicion. In the emergency department (ED), extraction may require creative methods to prevent need for surgical intervention.