About Michelle Lin, MD

ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

Trick of the Trade: Peritonsillar abscess needle aspiration

peritonsillar abscess

How do you drain a peritonsillar abscess?

When evaluating a patient with a sore throat and “hot potato voice,” peritonsillar abscess (PTA) is at the top of the differential diagnosis list. As with all abscesses, the definitive treatment involves drainage of pus. This can be done either by incision and drainage or, more commonly, by needle aspiration.

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By |2019-07-02T20:50:17-07:00Sep 9, 2009|ENT, Tricks of the Trade|

Trick of the Trade: Hair apposition technique (HAT trick)

Scalp lacerations over hair-bearing areas require wound closure, usually with staples. An alternative technique is the Hair Apposition Technique, also known as the HAT trick [1, 2]. This technique provides a more cost-effective, faster, and less painful approach to scalp laceration repair. Imagine the scalp hairs as suture ties already embedded in the skin.

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By |2019-11-29T19:02:25-08:00Sep 2, 2009|Tricks of the Trade|

TGIF: The "caffeine nap"

A common problem that emergency physicians share and struggle over is the circadian “dysrhythmia” of working random morning, afternoon, and night shifts. Shift work is the blessing and curse of our profession. I have yet to figure out the best way to adjust back to the daytime world after night shifts. Do you have any tricks?

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By |2019-09-10T14:06:16-07:00Aug 21, 2009|Life|