16 02, 2015

Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: 1 or 2 Tablets BID?

bactrimThe 2014 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections (SSTI) recommend sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (SMX-TMP) for purulent infections where methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is a likely pathogen. 1 But, what dose of SMX-TMP should we be prescribing? Both the SSTI and MRSA guidelines say 1-2 double strength tablets twice a day. 1,2  So, which is it, 1 tablet or 2?

(more…)

5 02, 2015

Sepsis in Older Adults: The Presentation May Be Subtle

sepsis260% of patients in the United States who develop severe sepsis are older adults (age 65 and over) [1], and the mortality of severe sepsis increases steadily with age to nearly 40% in those over 85 [2]. There are many factors that make older adults more susceptible to sepsis, and that can also make sepsis more difficult to detect. Here are some tips to help explain why this is, and how you can identify it sooner.

(more…)

7 01, 2015

PV Card: Skin and Soft Tissue Ultrasound

Abscess UltrasoundWe know that ultrasonography can be used to identify soft tissue infections. But what exactly are the distinguishing features between cellulitis and abscess? Is that a foreign body? Should I put a scalpel to this soft tissue infection? This PV card, written by Drs. Alissa Genthon, Patricia Henwood, and Mike Stone, serves as a great reference card for you at the bedside.

(more…)

25 09, 2014

High risk back pain: Spinal Epidural Abscess

epidural-abscess-282x300-modifiedSpinal epidural abscess (SEA) is a rare but potentially catastrophic cause of back pain. Classically these patients are described as having back pain, fever, and clear neurologic deficits. In reality, patients often present with less obvious symptoms which often leads to a delay in diagnosis. Missed cases of SEA are a source of significant risk to both the patient and the provider. To improve outcomes and minimize risk, providers must identify and promptly evaluate patients who are at increased risk of developing a SEA.

(more…)

16 07, 2014

AIR Series: Infectious Disease, Hematology, Oncology 2014

Welcome to the first ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) Module! In an effort to reward our readers for the reading and learning they are already doing online, we have created an Individual Interactive Instruction (III) opportunity utilizing FOAM resources for US Emergency Medicine residents. For each module, the board curates and scores a list of blogs and podcasts. A quiz is available to complete after each module to obtain residency conference credit. Once completed, your name and institution will be logged into our private Google Drive database, which participating residency program directors can access to provide access.

(more…)