You evaluate a patient complaining of acute onset of dyspnea with hypotension and hypoxia. You immediately consider the diagnosis of acute massive pulmonary embolism, but despite your best efforts can't get good cardiac windows on bedside ultrasound. Should you administer thrombolytics? Heparin? Send the shocky patient for a CT? Today Dr. Simpkins goes through the steps to perform 2-point compression ultrasound of the lower extremity to evaluate for DVT, an easy and rapid bedside test that may allow for indrect but more rapid diagnosis of acute, massive pulmonary embolism.
It’s the end of a long night shift and you are about to see your next patient triaged as “known history of gastroparesis, presenting with intractable nausea and vomiting.” You know you are in for a rough battle ahead without any good pharmacological choices for treatment. Enter HALOPERIDOL.
Can cheap, safe infusions of vitamins really succeed where so many hundreds of novel therapies have failed? The recent article in Chest by Dr. Paul Merik has taken the critical care world by storm, with reported mortality rates of 8.5% in patients treated with a simple vitamin C/thiamine cocktail (with none of the deaths directly attributable to sepsis). The skepticism and push-back have been nearly unprecedented, especially on #FOAMed. Whether you're a skeptic or an early adopter, you need to understand the basis for the debate by checking out this high-yield summary.
Oncological patients are at risk of developing several complications including life threatening infections. We often first worry about neutropenic fever in these patients. However, there are other oncological emergencies with which the emergency medicine physician needs to be familiar.
Delivering a baby in the emergency department is far from ideal and although all usually goes well, you need to be prepared in case it doesn’t. Shoulder dystocia gets a lot of hype because of those fancy corkscrew maneuvers, so instead of that we’re going to talk about another dreaded complication, post-partum hemorrhage.
Pericardiocentesis is a rarely performed, but potentially life-saving procedure. Commerical models are prohibitively expensive, but students and residents (and critical care fellows) still need to learn the mechanics, ideally with an ultrasound compatibile model. This week's post gives a step by step guide towards making a cheap, easy to fabricate phantom based on this fantastic paper published in the Journal of Emergency Medicne 2012: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21925818