27 06, 2013

The Dirty Epi Drip: IV Epinephrine When You Need It

PeanutAllergyBraceletYou’re a recent graduate picking up an extra shift in a small ED somewhere north of here. At 3 AM an obese 47 year-old woman presents with shortness of breath and difficulty speaking after eating a Snickers bar an hour earlier. She admits to history of HTN, peanut allergy, and a prior intubation for a similar presentation. She is becoming more obtunded in the resuscitation room as you are collecting your history. A glance at the monitor shows:

  • HR 130
  • BP 68/40
  • O2 saturation 89% on room air

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24 02, 2012

Paucis Verbis: Anaphylaxis

2017-03-05T14:14:31+00:00

EpipenThighAnaphylaxis is one of the most under-appreciated and under-treated conditions in the Emergency Department. A common misperception is that you need hypotension to diagnose it. Below is a brief summary of the diagnostic criteria and ED treatment protocol. Immediate administration of IM epinephrine is critical.

A major challenge is deciding which patients can go home and which need to be admitted, because of the risk of “rebound” or a biphasic anaphylactic response. This may occur as late as 72 hours later, but typically occur within the first 24 hours. There isn’t a good answer for this.

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26 03, 2010

Paucis Verbis card: Angioedema

2017-03-05T14:14:34+00:00

AngioedemaLip

Recently, a patient presented with angioedema after starting taking an ACE-inhibitor. There was upper lip swelling, similar appearing to the case above. He also experience a hoarse voice. Before the advent of fiberoptic nasopharyngoscopy, it was assumed that there may be laryngeal edema. Fortunately, using technology, we were able to visualize a normal epiglottis and a grossly normal laryngeal anatomy.

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