In part 2 of this “Pediatric Fever Without a Source” Paucis Verbis cards, we now cover febrile infants aged 29 days to 3 months (PV card for birth-28 days). Note that there is no single correct answer in how to manage these patients. There can be a wide variation in practices, partly because of the slightly different criteria used by the 3 studies. The overarching principle is that “high risk” infants get admitted with IV ceftriaxone and “low risk” infants get discharged with close follow-up +/- a ceftriaxone IV or IM dose. The line between these two risk categories is the grey area.
Pediatric patients commonly are brought to the Emergency Department for a fever without a source. Management of these patients depends on the patient’s age. Today’s PV card focuses on the youngest age group: Birth-to-28 days.
Performing a physical exam on frightened pediatric patients can often be challenging. I am always thrilled to add more child-whisperer techniques to my arsenal of tricks. I have written in the past about:
- Balloonimals iPhone app to grossly assess peak flow
- Candleflame iPhone app to grossly assess peak flow
- Eye Handbook iPhone app with pediatric fixation animation targets
- Casting/splinting your buddy bear
What’s your trick on performing an otoscope exam of the ears?
Abscess drainage can be painful and time consuming in the ED. Can this article help? 1
Trick of the Trade
Apply a topical anesthetic cream on skin abscesses prior to incision and drainage (I and D).
In this press-released article in American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the authors found that application of a topical 4% lidocaine cream (LMX 4) was associated with spontaneous cutaneous abscess drainage in children.
A 3 year old girl is brought into the ED with an abscess to her groin. Upon examination it is fluctuant and needs incision and drainage. Next door is a 5 year old boy, who fell off his bed and has an angulated radius fracture that needs reduction.
Hhhmmmm…how to manage these patients? Local anesthesia? Hematoma block? Nothing (aka brutacaine)? What about ketamine, that seems popular these days. IV? IM? With or without atropine? So many decisions!
Luckily you were surfing the internet one night and came across the 2011 clinical practice guideline on ketamine in the ED, which was just published.1
We’ve all seen it before while working in the ED. A parent brings in their child because they pulled on their arm, and now the child is not using it. Parents are thoroughly convinced that the child’s arm is either broken or dislocated. We all recognize this as radial head subluxation or “nursemaid’s elbow” and immediately attempt to reduce it. The provider takes the injured arm, supinates at the wrist and flexes at the elbow. Does the child scream? What if nothing happens?
Is there an alternative technique to reducing a nursemaid elbow?