Patients who are tracheostomy and ventilator dependent are at increased risk for complications the longer they remain in this condition. One common complication is tracheomalacia. Progressive tracheomalacia can lead to air leaks around the tracheostomy cannula balloon. Initially, this can be managed by placing a longer tracheostomy cannula deeper into the trachea, however, these are often unavailable in the emergency department . A second line strategy is to temporarily over-inflate the balloon, however, with chronic overinflation, eventually both the trachea and the neck stoma become too large, leading to an inability to maintain appropriate positive pressure (PEEP) and tidal volume necessary to ventilate the patient .
The ALiEM Chief Resident Incubator (“CRincubator”) launches its fifth class today. Every year’s class has a unique personality with wide-reaching projects. But all the chief residents share consistent characteristics – a deep dedication to resident education and wellness, a growth-minded approach to learning, and a desire for ongoing professional development. Are you an incoming chief resident in emergency medicine with a similar outlook, looking for a year-long community of your peers to share ideas with and bounce ideas off of? Want access to CRincubator alumni and respected educators in our field? Sign up early enough to attend our in-person launch event in Seattle on March 31, 2019 at the Council of EM Residency Director’s Academic Assembly.
Many of you are asked to take a leadership role in leading a team, whether it’s for research, administration, or even clinical. It is easy to feel unprepared for these roles, and there are many pitfalls waiting to sabotage your team’s productivity. The ALiEM Faculty Incubator has created a series of 10 case-based teaming problems to provide you with evidence-based advice and solutions for tackling some of the more common problems encountered in our professional team experiences. This case provide strategies for addressing some of the common social media fears among faculty.
A hair tourniquet occurs when a strand of hair coils around a patient’s appendage. It can cause damage to the skin, nerves, or affect blood supply. It is more common in infants as their skin appendages are small which allows for hair or thread to trap inside. Because in some cases these pediatric patients can present with inconsolable crying, it is important to perform a thorough physical examination to evaluate for the presence of such a hair tourniquet. We present a simple trick for removing a hair tourniquet using depilatory cream!
Wound irrigation is arguably one of the most important steps in closing a laceration, because all lacerations should be considered to be contaminated. Irrigation is considered the foundation in preventing infection. A common way to cleanse a wound is to irrigate a wound using a 20 cc syringe, angiocatheter, and splash protector. To achieve 500 cc of irrigation, however, it would require 25 syringe refills! Is there a better, cost-effective alternative?
Laceration repair and suturing are foundational skills for the Emergency Department. This pocket card serves as a quick reference guide for clinicians, and provides a much-needed update and design upgrade from the 2011 PV card on Sutures. This card covers suture/staple removal times, suture sizes, suture material characteristics, special laceration considerations, and suture techniques.
Orthopedic injuries are commonly managed in the emergency department. Often a quick bedside reference card is needed to remind the clinician about the acute management decisions. This is the third of a series of orthopedic quick reference cards written by a team from the 2015-16 ALiEM Chief Resident Incubator. The first two were on ankle and hindfoot fractures and hip injuries. This card set covers knee injuries, specifically patella fractures, patella dislocation, and knee dislocation. These cards were expert reviewed by Dr. Scott Sherman, co-editor of the Emergency Orthopedics textbook (Amazon), and illustrations were created by Dr. Mary Haas.