ALiEM Cards is point-of-care reference library of narrowly focused, easily digestible cards for the practicing emergency physician or learner (formerly known as PV Cards). As of July 2017 led by the team of Dr. Jeremy Voros and Derek Sifford, we have rebranded these into “ALiEM Cards”.

Index of Topics

TopicPDFMajor SubjectMinor SubjectBlog pageDate
Abdominal pain, diagnostic studiesPDFSurgery, traumaDiagnosticsBlog2011/07/22
Abdominal trauma, blunt (likelihood ratios)PDFSurgery, traumaBayesBlog2012/04/20
Abdominal trauma, penetratingPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2010/07/09
ABG interpretationPDFPulmonary, critical careDiagnosticsBlog2010/04/02
Acetaminophen toxicityPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2011/11/04
Acute limb ischemiaPDFCardiovascularBlog2010/08/13
Acute vestibular syndrome and HINTS examPDFNeurologyBlog2011/12/02
Alcohol: Ethylene glycolPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2012/06/08
Alcohol: Isopropyl alcoholPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2012/06/22
Alcohol: MethanolPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2012/06/15
AnaphylaxisPDFAllergy, ImmunologyBlog2012/02/24
AngioedemaPDFAllergy, ImmunologyBlog2010/03/26
Ankle and Hindfoot FracturesPDFOrthopedicsBlog2016/06/06
Ankle fracturesPDFOrthopedicsBlog2010/02/18
Anticoagulation for atrial fibrillationPDFCardiovascularBlog2010/04/09
Aortic dissection (IRAD)PDFCardiovascularBlog2011/05/20
Appendicitis: ACEP clinical policyPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2010/06/18
Asthma NIH classificationsPDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2011/04/29
Bayes nomogramPDFBayes2012/05/17
Bell’s Palsy: TreatmentPDFNeurologyBlog2013/02/21
Blood culture indicationsPDFInfectious diseaseBayesBlog2012/08/17
Blunt cardiac injuryPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2012/06/29
Brugada syndromePDFCardiovascularBlog2011/05/06
BurnsPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2016/04/22 update (original 7/2/2010)
C1-C2 fracturesPDFOrthopedicsBlog2010/09/24
C3-C7 fracturesPDFOrthopedicsBlog2010/10/01
Cardiac tamponadePDFCardiovascularBayesBlog2011/07/08
Cerebrovascular injury, bluntPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2011/07/01
Cervical spine rulesPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2010/12/10
Cervical spine, distracting injuryPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2011/09/09
Charting and CodingPDFAdministrativeBlog2016/08/15
Chemical sedationPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2011/03/25
Chest pain, low risk ACSPDFCardiovascularBlog2010/01/29
CHF likelihood ratiosPDFCardiovascularBayesBlog2012/08/24
Cholecystitis testsPDFSurgery, traumaBayesBlog2011/03/18
Clostridium difficilePDFInfectious diseaseBlog2011/06/24
CNS infectionsPDFNeurologyBlog2009/12/29
Continuous end tidal CO2 monitoring in cardiac arrestPDFPulmonary, Critical CareBlog2015/10/20
Continuous infusionsPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2012/03/09
CroupPDFPediatricsBlog2010/08/20
CT cancer riskPDFRadiologyBlog2011/06/10
Cystitis/Pyelonephritis Women AntibioticsPDFGenitourinaryBlog2011/09/02
D-dimerPDFHematology, oncologyDiagnosticsBlog2012/07/12
Delayed sequence intubationPDFAirway, pulmonaryBlog2012/08/31
Dental infectionsPDFENTBlog2011/04/22
Dental traumaPDFENTBlog2011/04/15
Dermatomes and myotomesPDFNeurologyAnatomyBlog2010/05/28
Diabetic foot osteomyelitisPDFOrthopedicsBayesBlog2011/09/23
Diverticulitis outpatientPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2011/05/27
Drug Card Emergency DepartmentPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2013/09/11
DVT Diagnostic Guidelines (ACCP)PDFCardiovascularBlog2013/01/24
DysphagiaPDFENTBlog2010/02/03
Early goal directed therapy in sepsisPDFInfectious diseaseBlog2010/04/16
ECG: Early repolarization vs STEMIPDFCardiovascularBlog2013/05/16
ECG: Electrolyte imbalancePDFCardiovascular, EndocrineBlog2012/09/21
ECG: Geography of AMIPDFCardiovascularDiagnosticBlog2011/04/08
ECG: Lead aVRPDFCardiovascularDiagnosticBlog2011/11/18
ECG: Right and posterior leadsPDFCardiovascularDiagnosticBlog2011/03/11
Ectopic PregnancyPDFObstetrics/gynecologyBayesBlog2013/05/09
EMTALA rules in the transfer of ED patientsPDFAdministrativeBlog2012/09/14
Genital ulcersPDFGenitourinaryBlog2012/05/04
GRACE scorePDFCardiovascularBlog2012/04/13
Head CT before LPPDFNeurologyBlog2010/04/23
Head CT in trauma: Decision rulesPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2011/05/13
HyperkalemiaPDFEndocrine, metabolicBlog2010/03/12
Hypertension: First line treatmentPDFCardiovascularBlog2011/02/11
Hypothermia, accidentalPDFEnvironmentalBlog2011/02/04
Influenza treatmentPDFInfectious diseaseBlog2011/10/28
Intimate partner violencePDFTraumaBlog2013/07/31
Intraosseous lab interpretationPDFHematology, oncologyDiagnosticsBlog2012/01/13
IV fluid composition and Chloride-restrictive fluids in ICUPDFEndocrine, metabolicBlog2012/01/03
Kawasaki diseasePDFPediatricsBlog2012/03/23
Knee examPDFOrthopedicsBlog2010/03/19
Laceration repair and suturesPDFTraumaBlog2017/03/06
Legionnaires diseasePDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2011/09/16
Local anesthetic toxicityPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2014/06/13
Metacarpal fracturePDFOrthopedicsBlog2013/12/13
Methotrexate and ectopic pregnancyPDFGynecology, obstetricsBlog2011/11/11
Murmurs and need for echocardiographyPDFCardiovascularBlog2010/09/17
Neutropenic fever and cancerPDFInfectious diseaseBlog2011/10/07
NSAID bleeding riskPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2011/07/15
One minute preceptor: NERDS mnemonicPDFEducationBlog2015/08/01
Open fractures and antibioticsPDFOrthopedicsBlog2012/01/20
Osmolal gapPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2012/06/01
Ottawa knee, ankle, foot rulesPDFOrthopedicsBlog2010/05/07
Overanticoagulation and supratherapeutic INRPDFHematology, oncologyBlog2012/08/10
Pain medications: Initial options in the EDPDFToxicologyBlog2015/10/23
Palliative Care Screening in the EDPDFPalliative CareBlog2015/07/27
Paracentesis and ascites assessmentPDFGastroenterologyBlog2010/06/25
PE clinical decision rulesPDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2011/06/03
PE indications for fibrinolysisPDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2011/07/29
Pediatric assessment trianglePDFPediatricsBlog2013/05/30
Pediatric fever (1-3 months old)PDFInfectious diseasePediatricsBlog2012/02/02
Pediatric fever (3 mo- 3 yrs old)PDFInfectious diseasePediatricsBlog2012/02/09
Pediatric fever (neonate)PDFInfectious diseasePediatricsBlog2012/01/27
Pediatric head trauma (PECARN)PDFSurgery, traumaPediatricsBlog2010/02/04
Pediatric ingestion dose thresholds for ED referralPDFToxicology, pharmacologyPediatricsBlog2014/07/09
Pediatric pertussis algorithmPDFPulmonary, critical carePediatricsBlog2010/10/29
Pediatric sizes and dosesPDFPediatricsBlog2010/10/23
PericarditisPDFCardiovascularBlog2015/02/05
PertussisPDFPulmonary, critical careBayesBlog2010/09/03
PESI score for pulmonary embolismPDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2012/11/17
Pneumonia scoresPDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2011/02/25
Post-exposure prophylaxis, non-occupPDFInfectious diseaseBlog2011/04/01
Procedural sedationPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2010/08/06
Rapid sequence intubationPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2010/07/16
Rashes, approach toPDFDermatologyBlog2011/08/26
Red eyePDFOphthalmologyBlog2010/01/22
Salicylate toxicityPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2015/06/15
Scaphoid fracturePDFOrthopedicsBlog2016/02/01
Seizure, first timePDFNeurologyBlog2011/01/13
Seizure, status epilepticusPDFNeurologyBlog2011/01/20
Septic arthritisPDFOrthopedicsBayesBlog2010/06/11
Serotonin syndromePDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2012/01/06
Sgarbossa criteria for LBBBPDFCardiovascularBayesBlog2010/11/05
Shift feedback cardPDFEducationBlog2011/12/09
Shock and RUSH protocolPDFCardiovascularBlog2009/12/22
Shock, vasopressors and inotropesPDFCardiovascularBlog2010/04/30
Shoulder examPDFOrthopedicsBlog2011/01/28
Spinal epidural abscessPDFNeurologyBlog2011/08/05
Streptococcal pharyngitisPDFENTBlog2010/07/30
Stroke scale NIHPDFNeurologyBlog2010/02/26
Stroke: Contraindications for ThrombolyticsPDFNeurologyBlog2013/05/23
Subarachnoid hemorrhage, atraumaticPDFNeurologyBlog2010/03/05
Subarachnoid hemorrhage, high riskPDFNeurologyBlog2010/12/17
Suicide risk stratificationPDFPsychiatryBlog2011/02/18
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) Aberrancy vs Ventricular Tachycardia (VT): Brugada CriteriaPDFCardiovascularBlog2013/02/27
Suture materialsPDFSurgery, traumaBlog2011/01/07
Tachycardia, approach toPDFCardiovascularBlog2011/08/19
TIMI scorePDFCardiovascularBlog2010/08/27
Toxidromes and vital signsPDFToxicology, pharmacologyBlog2010/11/19
Transient ischemic attack (TIA)PDFNeurologyBlog2010/01/05
Ultrasound: 1st Trimester Pregnancy (Transabdominal)PDFGynceology, obstetricsBlog2015/02/25
Ultrasound: 1st Trimester Pregnancy (Transvaginal)PDFGynceology, obstetricsBlog2015/03/04
Ultrasound: Abdominal AortaPDFRadiologyBlog2014/09/13
Ultrasound: Biliary ExamPDFGastroenterologyBlog2015/01/01
Ultrasound: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)PDFCardiovascularBlog2015/02/18
Ultrasound: FASTPDFRadiologyBlog2014/09/14
Ultrasound: Focused EchocardiographyPDFCardiovascularBlog2015/02/11
Ultrasound: Lung ExamPDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2015/02/04
Ultrasound Measurements: Normal ValuesPDFRadiologyUltrasoundBlog2015/10/15
Ultrasound: Ocular ExamPDFOphthalmologyBlog2015/01/28
Ultrasound: Skin and Soft TissuePDFDermatologyBlog2015/01/07
Ultrasound: Testicular ExamPDFGenitourinaryBlog2015/01/21
Upper GI bleedPDFGastroenterologyBayesBlog2011/06/17
Urine toxicologyPDFToxicology, pharmacologyDiagnosticBlog2010/07/22
UTI, cystitisPDFGenitourinaryBlog2010/02/11
VBG versus ABGPDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2013/01/31
Ventilator settings: Lung protectionPDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2011/10/14
Ventilator settings: Obstructive diseasePDFPulmonary, critical careBlog2011/10/21


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Paucis Verbis: Composition of intravenous fluids

iv bagThere has been a lot of discussion on the ideal intravenous fluids (IVF) for resuscitation in the Emergency Department and ICU. This was highlighted by the landmark study in JAMA on ICU patients who received chloride-rich versus chloride-restricted IVFs. This got me to thinking, what exactly comprises the common IVFs that we order? We so often take for granted what’s in 1 liter of normal saline. As it turns out, normal saline is not really “normal”. Dr. Scott Weingart has a great podcast on “chloride poisoning” using IVFs.

This PV card helps remind me what’s in each liter bag of fluids we order (composition of intravenous fluids). At the bottom half of the card is a brief summary of the JAMA findings.

PV Card: IV Fluid Formations


Adapted from [1]
Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.

Update 1/4/13

After the posting of this PV card, there was intense discussion about why the D5W osmolarity was 252 mOsm/L instead of 272 mOsm/L, which is found on various medical calculators. See the discussion by Dr. Joel Topf.

Has this JAMA study changed your approach to ED intravenous fluid management?

It sure has for me. After 2 liters of normal saline, I consider switching patients to a more chloride-restrictive fluid (we have Plasma-Lyte in our ED). Examples include patients with DKA, AKA, sepsis, and severe dehydration.

Reference

  1. Yunos N, Bellomo R, Hegarty C, Story D, Ho L, Bailey M. Association between a chloride-liberal vs chloride-restrictive intravenous fluid administration strategy and kidney injury in critically ill adults. JAMA. 2012;308(15):1566-1572. [PubMed]
By |2021-10-08T09:49:07-07:00Jan 3, 2013|ALiEM Cards, Tox & Medications|

PV card: Metacarpal fractures

metacarpal fracture rotationa angulationa=Patients with rotation deformities of the fingers from a metacarpal fracture should be reduced. All fingers should normally point towards the patient’s scaphoid bone.

Metacarpal (MC) fractures are common injuries, which often spark discussions about whether they should be reduced in the ED urgently.

  • What are the criteria for acceptable degrees of angulation? Are these criteria different for the MC neck versus shaft?
  • Which fractures tend to be unstable and thus require eventual operative repair?
  • How should I splint the injury?

Here’s a quick-reference card to help guide your management decisions. These recommendations may vary slightly based on what references you use. You may need to tailor your decisions based on your regional practices.

PV Card: Metacarpal Fractures


Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.

 

Thanks to Dr. Nicole Strauss at the UCSF-SFGH Orthopaedic Trauma Institute and my go-to hand expert for her input.

By |2021-10-08T09:33:03-07:00Dec 13, 2012|ALiEM Cards, Orthopedic|

PV card: PE Severity Index (PESI) score

pulmonary embolism PE PESI score

Do you send some of your low-risk patients with pulmonary embolism home?

This is a controversial issue which warrants a look at risk stratification tools. The primary one used is the validated Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index (PESI) score. In Lancet 2011, the authors looked at whether PESI class I and II (low risk) patients could be managed safely as outpatients. It turns out in their study, regardless of whether their PESI class I and II patients were treated as outpatients and inpatients, all fared equally well from a complications standpoint (recurrent clot, bleeding from anticoagulation).

I like the validated PESI scoring system to risk-stratify patients as low vs high risk for complications. I, however, do caution people to look closely at the exclusion criteria for this study before applying this to all ED patients.

The exclusion filter was so strict that they likely have captured a very narrow and unrealistic scope of patients to be widely applicable. It makes sense from a research standpoint to have these criteria to achieve internal validity but the question is external validity. Two exclusion criteria that struck me as awfully strict were: (1) needing parenteral opioids or (2) active alcohol or drug abuse.

Bottom line

For me, this study alone seems not have enough external validity to decide about the decision to treat PE patients as inpatient vs outpatient. Although I think that ultimately some can be managed as outpatients, I’d like to see more studies.

PV Card: PESI Score for Pulmonary Embolism


See other ALiEM (PV) Cards.

By |2021-10-08T09:35:48-07:00Nov 17, 2012|ALiEM Cards, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary|

PV Card: Electrolytes and ECG changes

ECG anatomy segments

The electrocardiogram can pick up all sorts of electrolyte abnormalities. The most common abnormalities revolve around high and low levels of potassium and calcium. Magnesium derangements typically have nonspecific findings. How do you keep things straight? To make things more complicated, multiple electrolyte derangements can occur at the same time, making ECG interpretation challenging.

(more…)

By |2021-10-08T09:38:57-07:00Sep 21, 2012|ALiEM Cards, ECG, Endocrine-Metabolic|

Paucis Verbis: EMTALA rules in the transfer of ED patients

NoDumping

In U.S. academic emergency departments, decisions to accept patients is typically easy, because you have ready access to on-call physicians. When in doubt, accept transfer patients and sort things out later.

  • What are the obligations for those transferring patients to other EDs?
  • What do the EMTALA (a.k.a. “anti-dumping”) rules say?
  • When can you transfer unstable patients?

As a general rule, the liability falls upon the transferring site and physician. So be sure that your patient won’t decompensate in the ambulance during transfer. So, don’t transfer that CP patient who is getting ruled-out for an MI or ACS no matter how good they look. Patients need to be stable for transfer.

Anyone with pearls to share?
Thanks to @EMurgentologist for tweeting me the idea!

PV Card: EMTALA Transfer Rules


Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.

Further Reading:

By |2021-10-08T10:27:31-07:00Sep 14, 2012|Administrative, ALiEM Cards|

Paucis Verbis: Delayed sequence intubation

delayed sequence intubation DSI

A 40 y/o man presents with significant agitation and severe respiratory distress from a COPD exacerbation. His oxygen saturation is 75% on room air, and he has diffuse, tight wheezes on exam. You prepare to intubate the patient using a rapid sequence induction protocol: etomidate, succinylcholine, 8-0 endotracheal tube.

Or do you?

This Paucis Verbis card discusses the delayed sequence intubation (DSI) protocol made famous by Dr. Scott Weingart and Dr. Rich Levitan.1 Thanks to Dr. Michelle Reina (EM resident at Univ of Utah) and Dr. Rob (Intermountain Medical Center in Utah) for designing this helpful card. Rob has even implemented a DSI protocol in his ED.

The card breaks down the reasoning and steps behind DSI. Anecdotally, ketamine has often calmed patients down enough during the preoxygenation phase to enhance oxygenation/ventilation so much so that intubation is not required.

PV Card: Delayed Sequence Intubation (DSI)


Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.

Reference

  1. Weingart S, Levitan R. Preoxygenation and prevention of desaturation during emergency airway management. Ann Emerg Med. 2012;59(3):165-75.e1. [PubMed]
By |2021-10-08T10:27:20-07:00Aug 31, 2012|ALiEM Cards, Critical Care/ Resus|
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