With recent discussion about the potential closing of California Poison Control Centers due to budget cuts, I suddenly became shockingly aware of how much Emergency Departments depend on these centers for assistance. They are always so knowledgeable and helpful in managing various ingestions and poisonings.
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.
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.
Distal radius fractures traditionally require a sugar tong splint to prevent the patient from ranging the wrist and elbow. The sugar tong splint essentially sandwiches the forearm with a splint, folded at the elbow. At this elbow fold, however, the splint often uncomfortably and inconveniently buckles and wrinkles when a wrap is applied.
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?