For some, this topic may be more bread and butter than others. Many of you may work in cold areas where you are likely to see patients with hypothermia on a regular basis, especially in the winter. Whether you work shifts in a mountainous region or are simply catching up on EM topics while studying for boards in your in you flip flops by the beach, here are a few pearls regarding patients who present with hypothermia and their management.
You are intubating a sick patient in the ED via direct laryngoscopy. After opening the airway, sweeping the tongue with your blade, inserting into the vallecula, and lifting at the precisely correct angle your eyes behold....well...not the vocal cords! Maybe the arytenoid cartilages if you're lucky (aka Cormack Lehane 3 or 4 view). But wait, you aren't finished yet! You reach into your back pocket and remove your trusty bougie...
In this video, Cooper Emergency Medicine Residency graduate and current ultrasound fellow at Hennepin County Mark Robidoux demonstrates a few tips and tricks to quickly become a pro in ultrasound guided angiocath insertion (with a little help from Cooper Assistant to the Program Director and volunteer pincushion Rich Byrne)
Your patient in the Emergency Department has a Zone II or Zone III finger amputation which requires primary closure of the wound prior to discharge with appropriate outpatient follow up. However, a protruding piece of bone often prevents closure of the skin flap and requires trimming by using a rongeur. While this process is typically carried out by an orthopedic or hand surgical consultant, this post aims to introduce the use of a ronguer during management of finger amputation in the Emergency Department.
Case: A 68 year old woman presents to the ED with fever, hypotension, and AMS. She has a PICC in place. Your overzealous intern places a central line, and he swears the stick was venous. You obtain and CXR to confirm line placement. Where does the line terminate?
Answer: B. It is venous but extends to the right brachiocephalic vein. The central line is inadvertantly deep and likely resulted from the guidewire being displaced by the patient's PICC line. This patient will need the line removed/replaced.
Estimated Central Line Lengths for Correct Placement:
Right Internal Jugular Vein: 13 cm, +/- 2 cm
Right Subclavian Vein: 15 cm, +/- 2 cm
Left Internal Jugular Vein: 15 cm, +/- 2 cm
Left Subclavian Vein: 17 cm, +/- 2 cm