Karen O'Brien, DO

Critical Cases - Heat Emergency!

EMS brings in a patient who was found down in his front lawn. They report he is dry and very hot to the touch, and has been unresponsive during transport. As you approach the resuscitation bay you quickly run down potential causes of a heat emergency and begin to think about the best way to treat this patient.....

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Critical Cases - Locked knee!

A healthy 23 yo male presents after injuring his knee playing soccer. He is complaining of inability to completely extend his knee. "It's stuck." he reports to the triage nurse. "That seems like a problem..." you think to yourself as you enter the room. How did this happen? How do I unstick his knee? Read on for some quick pearls on the "locked knee."

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Critical Cases - Epidural Abscess Emergency!

A 61 yo male presents to the ED for the second time with complaints of back pain. While the overwhelming majority of cases of back pain are benign, there are a few "can't miss" causes which will result in paralysis if not diagnosed early. You ponder these diagnoses as you make your way to the patient's room...

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Critical Cases - Dizziness and Vomiting - Benign or Catastrophic?

A 59 year old male presents complaining of unsteadiness on his feet and vomiting for 24 hours. You know there are numerous benign explanations for his symptoms, but also realize there are a few "can't miss" diagnoses as well...what are they and how do we assess for them in the ED?

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Critical Cases - Pericardial effusion!

You are evaluating a patient for abdominal pain the usual way (with a CT of course!) when you discover an incidental pericardial effusion. Quick as a flash you grab your trusty ultrasound and head back to the patient's room, wondering how this effusion got there and what POCUS findings you should be looking for...

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