Trick of the Trade: Conveying risk for postexposure prophylaxis

NeedlesA health care worker hurried in to the ED after being poked with a needle.

‘It was an old 18G needle with dried blood’, she said. Her puncture had drawn blood. You discussed the very low risk of contacting HIV and the side effects of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). She asked, ‘What does very low risk mean?’

Is there another way to covery risk for patients?

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2019-02-19T18:21:27-07:00

Paucis Verbis card: Algorithm for suspected pertussis in pediatrics

ChildCough

To treat for pertussis or not?

In the setting of the current pertussis epidemic in California, each kid with a cough sparks constant debate about whether to treat with azithromycin or not. Finally, thanks to my friends Dr. Andi Marmor and Dr. Shon Agarwal Jain (UCSF Pediatrics faculty), there’s a great algorithm to help you answer the question. I have found this algorithm extremely helpful.

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2019-01-28T23:21:12-07:00

Paucis Verbis card: Pertussis

Pertussis Organism

Is your Emergency Department administering Tdap immunization boosters instead of dT boosters? Patients with wounds are getting updated not only for tetanus and diphtheria, but also now for pertussis.

Apparently there has been sharp rise in the national incidence of pertussis (Bordetella pertussis shown in image) in 2010. The infection has been documented in both infants (underimmunized less than 3 months old) and adolescents/adults (loss of immunity after 10 years). In fact, the CDC has issued an epidemic warning in California.

How do you diagnose pertussis ? What are the classic symptoms? Better yet, how do you rule-it out clinically?

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2019-01-28T23:23:30-07:00

Paucis Verbis card: Croup

The most common cause of stridor in pediatric patients is croup, or laryngotracheobronchitis. The distinct high-pitched, seal-like,”barky” cough can be heard from outside the patient’s room often.

Check out the clip above that I randomly found on YouTube. Go to the 1:15 mark (near the end) to hear the barking cough. Poor but cute kid.

What is the current treatment regimen? Did you know that the traditional treatment with cool mist or humidified air have shown to be of no added benefit?

PV Card: Croup


Go to the ALiEM Cards site for more resources.

2019-01-28T23:25:57-07:00

Paucis Verbis card: Septic Arthritis

Knee PainIn the workup of monoarticular arthritis, the question that emergency physicians constantly struggle over is whether the patient has a nongonococcal septic arthritis. This joint infection alarmingly damages and erodes cartilage within only a few days.

This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series reviews the JAMA Rational Clinical Examination article which asks “Does this patient have septic arthritis?” Pooled sensitivities and likelihood ratios were calculated. These statistics are always helpful when trying to figure out the patients probability of having a septic joint.

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2019-01-28T23:40:11-07:00