The above question is common from patients with a history of an allergic reaction seen for a repeat emergency department visit. The manufacturers of EpiPen caution not to use the pen beyond the expiration date, and if the drug solution becomes discolored (oxidation). But EpiPens are expensive! Is there harm in using the pen beyond the expiration date? What should we tell our patients?1
Paraphimosis occurs when a retracted foreskin can’t be reduced back over the glans of the penis. Risk factors for paraphimosis include scarring, vigorous sexual activity, chronic balanoposthitis, and forgetting to replace the foreskin after catheterization or manipulation.
Paraphimosis can be a urological emergency as the tight ring formed by the foreskin can cause ischemia to the tip of the penis and eventually gangrene. Timely reduction is of high importance. Treatment involves gentle compression of the glans and gradual manual foreskin retraction.1 Unfortunately, as time goes on, more swelling occurs making traditional reduction techniques more difficult.
You are working your evening shift at the pediatrics emergency department, and you walk into a darkened patient room with a distressed mother and her otherwise healthy 10-year old son who is curled in a ball, holding his head and crying. Her mother tells you that the around-the-clock ibuprofen has barely touched his 2-day headache.
After determining that your patient has no neurologic deficits and that this is most likely a primary headache, what can you do to break his symptoms?
Ceftriaxone is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is frequently administered intramuscularly (IM) in emergency medicine. However, ceftriaxone IM injections hurt — A LOT! Can we do anything to minimize the pain?
Prochlorperazine is a commonly used medication in EM. In certain patients prochlorperazine does wonders for migraines, and remains a great antiemetic choice for undifferentiated nausea/vomiting when ondansetron is ineffective. However, prochlorperazine has antidopinamergic activity increasing the chances of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), such as akathisia, dystonia, parkinsonism, and rarely tardive dyskinesia. A common practice in the ED is to give diphenhydramine with prochlorperazine to attenuate EPS. Does this really work? What is the evidence?
A new antibiotic will soon be approved for skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs): dalbavancin. The company behind the drug will likely begin marketing heavily to emergency physicians as many patients with SSTIs seek care in the Emergency Department (ED). However, should we seriously consider dalbavancin as an addition to an ED’s arsenal against SSTIs and should it change our practice?
Imagine a consult service located IN the ED. The consultants are some of the friendliest people you’ve met and are there to help you. They tirelessly go out of their way to guide you through hospital protocols, help you with treatments, keep a close eye on your work, and ensure that you and your patients stay out of trouble. Not only are these consultants helpful to you, but also your residents, mid-levels, nurses, and the admitting teams. Everything they know, they teach you – and some are very active in FOAMed and emergency medicine research.