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.
Medical imaging now accounts for most of the US population’s exposure to ionizing radiation. A substantial proportion of this medical imaging is ordered in the emergency setting. We aim to provide a general overview of radiation dose from medical imaging with a focus on computed tomography, as well as a literature review of recent efforts to decrease unnecessary radiation exposure to patients in the emergency department setting.
An increasing number of elderly patients are presenting to the emergency department. Numerous studies have observed that emergency physicians often fail to identify and diagnose delirium in the elderly. These studies also suggest that even when emergency physicians recognized delirium, they still may not have fully appreciated the import of the diagnosis. Delirium is not a normal manifestation of aging and, often, is the only sign of a serious underlying medical condition. This article will review the significance, definition, and principal features of delirium so that emergency physicians may better appreciate, recognize, evaluate, and manage delirium in the elderly.
A 31-year-old, who is gravida 2 para 1 at 6 weeks by last menstrual period, presents for vaginal bleeding starting approximately 5 days earlier. The bleeding was initially light, and there was no associated abdominal pain. The bleeding seemed to stop when she laid down and increased upon standing.
In this report, we discuss a case of a 14-month-old male presenting in the emergency department with refusal to bear weight on his left leg. Plain radiographic studies revealed no evidence of effusion, fracture, or dislocation.
We report the case of a 22-year-old Marine who presented to the emergency department, after a martial arts exercise, with transient weakness and numbness in all extremities. Computed tomography cervical spine radiographs revealed os odontoideum. Lateral flexion–extension radiographs identified atlanto-axillary instability. This abnormality is rare and can be career ending for military members who do not undergo surgical fusion.
Although pneumomediastinum (PM) is a cause of chest pain, which can be diagnosed on a plain chest radiograph, emergency physicians frequently miss the diagnosis. As follows a description of findings of PM on a chest radiograph.
A 40-year-old male with human immunodeficiency virus (currently, CD4 171) presented to our emergency department (ED) with pain and swelling in the left third digit of 3 to 4 weeks’ duration. He noticed the swelling after a fist fight that resulted in compression of his ring on the finger.
Infants with food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) may present to the emergency department (ED) with vomiting and hypotension. A previously healthy, 5-month-old male presented with vomiting and hypotension 2 to 3 hours after eating squash. The patient was resuscitated with intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and admitted for presumed sepsis.
Identifying fever can influence management of the emergency department (ED) patient, including diagnostic testing, treatment, and disposition. We set out to determine how well oral and tympanic membrane (TM) temperatures compared with rectal measurements.
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.
We review the advantages and disadvantages of these therapies and recommend Three Factor PCC with small doses of rFVIIa and with vitamin K in life-threatening situations if Four Factor PCC is unavailable.
Tattoos and piercings are increasingly part of everyday life for large sections of the population, and more emergency physicians are seeing these body modifications (BM) adorn their patients. In this review we elucidate the most common forms of these BMs, we describe how they may affect both the physical and psychological health of the patient undergoing treatment, and also try to educate around any potential pitfalls in treating associated complications.
Prophylactic antibiotics have not been found to have a benefit in the setting of uncomplicated lacerations. We evaluated the proportion of patients with uncomplicated lacerations who are prescribed prophylactic antibiotics in the emergency department (ED), factors that physicians considered when prescribing antibiotics, and factors associated with patient satisfaction.
The treatment of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) includes the administration of aspirin. Current guidelines recommend chewing aspirin tablets to increase absorption. While this is intuitive, there are scant data supporting this recommendation. The purpose of this study is to assess which of 3 different aspirin formulations is most rapidly absorbed after ingestion.
We discuss a case of a 64-year-old male with a history of liver failure presenting with altered mental status, initially diagnosed with hepatic encephalopathy but ultimately diagnosed with nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) by electroencephalogram (EEG). NCSE is a difficult diagnosis to make, given no clear consensus on diagnostic criteria. Especially in the intensive care unit setting of persistent altered mental status with no clear etiology, NCSE must be considered in the differential diagnosis, as the consequences of delayed diagnosis and treatment can be substantial. EEG can be useful in the evaluation of patients with hepatic encephalopathy who have persistently altered levels of consciousness despite optimal medical management.
The purpose of our study was to describe the evaluation and outcome of patients with ileus and bowel obstruction admitted to an emergency department (ED) observation unit (OU) and to identify predictors of successful management for such patients.
This study describes deep sedations performed for painful procedures completed in the emergency department at an academic tertiary care hospital during an 18-month period. One hundred consecutive cases were retrospectively reviewed to describe indications, complications, procedural lengths, medication dosing, and safety of these sedations. Propofol and etomidate were the preferred agents. We found that there were relatively few complications (10%), with only 2 of these (2%) being major complications. All complications were brief and did not adversely affect patient outcomes. This data further demonstrate the safety profile of deep sedation medications in the hands of emergency physicians trained in sedation and advanced airway techniques.
Abdominal pain is one of the most common presenting complaints to the emergency department. Mesenteric venous thrombosis represents an important cause to consider in patients with acute abdominal pain. The diagnosis is often delayed, and cases traditionally have been identified either at laparotomy or at autopsy. In this case, we describe a 21-year-old female with acute onset of right lower quadrant pain attributable to a hyperhomocysteinemia related non-occlusive superior mesenteric vein thrombosis. This case highlights how the use of computed tomography in select cases can lead to earlier recognition of this condition and increasingly allow for non-surgical treatment.
A 17-year-old male with symptoms of headache and diaphoresis presented to the emergency department. He had eight months of noted hypertension attributed to medications. On arrival his blood pressure was 229/117mmHg, and he was ill-appearing. His blood pressure was managed aggressively, and he was diagnosed with extra-adrenal pheochromocytoma by computed tomography. He eventually underwent resection of the mass. Children with severe, symptomatic hypertension should be evaluated for pheochromocytoma. Although rare, it is curable. Failure to diagnose carries a high risk of morbidity and mortality.
Academic emergency physicians (EPs) often feel that the demands of clinical productivity, income generation, and patient satisfaction conflict with educational objectives. The objective of this study was to explore whether the quality of faculty bedside teaching of residents correlated with high clinical productivity, measured by relative value units (RVUs). We also explored the strategies of high-performing faculty for optimal RVU generation and teaching performance.