Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) Pearls

Created in 2015, this series is hosted by Dr. Jessica Chow and Dr. Josh Bukowski who are authors and editors for this series which focuses on evidence-based care in the realm of pediatric emergency medicine.

 


PEM Pearls: 5 Tips to Demystify Amoxicillin in Pediatric Infections

Amoxicillin is a penicillin derivative antibiotic against susceptible gram positive and gram negative bacteria. It has reasonable coverage for most upper respiratory infections and is used as prophylaxis for asplenia and bacterial endocarditis. This post aims to demystify amoxicillin treatment for common pediatric infections.

(more…)
2019-09-05T17:59:37-07:00

PEM Pearls: Ultrasound for Diagnosing Occult Supracondylar Fractures

Supracondylar humerus fractures are the most common type of elbow fracture in pediatric patients, most often seen in a fall on an outstretched hand (FOOSH) or a fall on a hyper-extended elbow.​1,2​ If there is no obvious fracture on x-rays, the patient may have an occult fracture; look for secondary radiographic signs including a posterior fat pad sign, an enlarged anterior fat pad or ‘sail sign’, or malalignment. Occult supracondylar fractures (those with initial normal radiographs that are later diagnosed in follow up) make up 2-18% of all the fractures we see in kids.​3​ When x-ray findings are nonspecific but the index of suspicion for fracture remains high, ultrasound may aid in your clinical decision making.

(more…)
2019-08-06T22:45:39-07:00

PEM Pearls: Red Flags for Child Abuse – Case 2

Fractures are a common sign of abuse. It is impossible to tell from an x-ray alone whether or not a fracture is due to abuse. Fractures of the extremities are the most common skeletal injury in children who have been abused and approximately 80% of fractures due to abuse occur in children under 18 months old.1 In non-mobile children, rib fractures, long bone fractures, and metaphyseal fractures have a high correlation with child abuse. An understanding of the motor development of young children can aid physicians in the identifying fractures due to abuse.

(more…)

2018-05-21T20:56:18-07:00

PEM Pearls: Red Flags for Child Abuse – Case 1

Child abuse is a common cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality. In 2015, over 650,000 children were found to be victims of maltreatment and over 1,500 child deaths occurred due to child abuse or neglect in the United States.1 Children under 1 year of age are at the highest risk of abuse with potential for lifelong sequelae. Emergency department providers are in a unique position to recognize child abuse and take appropriate steps to reduce further injury to children. An understanding of the motor development of young children can aid physicians in the identification of clinical red flags in the history.
(more…)

2018-03-21T11:37:21-07:00

PEM Pearls: Regional Facial Nerve Blocks

facial nerve blocksRegional nerve blocks of the face and ear can be a wonderful choice of analgesia in a child, particularly for wounds that need to be repaired. The benefits include fewer local injections, improved cosmesis due to less wound margin distortion, and improved analgesia within the nerve region.1,2 The following blog post and brief video tutorial review the key elements of this technique.

(more…)

PEM Pearls: Pediatric Lung Ultrasound for Diagnosing Pneumonia | The Wave of the Future

pediatric lung ultrasound for diagnosing pneumoniaThe standard for diagnosing pneumonia is a combination of the clinical history, physical examination, and chest x-ray (CXR) findings. However, lung ultrasound (US) has been shown to be a reasonable alternative to CXR in children, and may be an appropriate alternative diagnostic imaging modality in the Emergency Department (ED).

(more…)

2017-12-30T10:55:04-08:00

Pediatric Trick of the Trade: Finger Immobilization Technique

A 3 year-old boy presents with a deep laceration of the distal phalanx, through the nail bed, after slamming his fingers in a car door. He is crying, anxious, and uncooperative. How do you make this situation easier to evaluate and repair?

Nail bed and finger laceration repairs can be challenging, and even more challenging in young patients. Preparation is key to getting a good outcome. Here we present a pediatric trick of the trade on immobilizing a finger for digit or nail bed procedures.

(more…)