28 09, 2017

Atraumatic Low Back Pain: ACEP E-QUAL Network Podcast

2017-09-27T21:59:35+00:00

Atraumatic low back pain is a common complaint in the ED. For most patients, a thorough history and physical exam is sufficient to exonerate causes that threaten life or neurological function. For a small subset, however, MRI may be required. ALiEM has partnered with the ACEP E-QUAL Network to promote clinical practice improvements through a series of podcasts. In our first installment, we focus on this common presentation. We review highlights from an interview with Dr. Jonathan Edlow, Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess, about the presentation and evaluation of low back pain. Afterward be sure to check out the podcast in full.
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19 09, 2017

SplintER Series: Splint Principles 101

2017-09-25T15:33:29+00:00

splint plaster materialWhy do we splint? Splinting is one of the fundamental procedures of the Emergency Department (ED). How well-versed are we with it? Why do we even splint? By the end of this post, you will know the reason why we splint, when to splint, and just as importantly — when NOT to splint in the ED.
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18 09, 2017

SplintER: A New Series on Orthopedic Injuries and Splinting

2017-09-25T15:45:45+00:00

splintingThe purpose of the SplintER series is to teach the fundamentals and introduce advanced concepts of splinting to the Emergency Medicine (EM) professional. Humans have been splinting their injuries since 1300 B.C.1 Although the fundamentals have not changed, splint selection and application require some thoughtful consideration. A 2017 prospective, observational study in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics demonstrated that more than 90% of splints applied in the Emergency Department were inappropriate (30% applied by EM attendings), as evaluated by orthopaedic surgeons.2 While that number may not be representative in your institution, it certainly highlights the inadequacies that many of us feel when approaching a splint!

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11 09, 2017

Extensor Tendon Lacerations to the Foot

2017-09-11T03:28:42+00:00

A young man is brought into an emergency department after an electric lawn edger cut through his work boot and into the dorsum of his right foot. He has a clearly contaminated 5 cm x 1 cm laceration on the lateral side, and an underlying tendon is exposed. Sensation is diminished around the wound and he is unable to actively extend his 5th toe past a neutral position. How would you diagnose and repair his extensor tendon injury?

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31 07, 2017

Trick of the Trade: DIY Squirt Bottle Wound Irrigation

2017-07-30T14:37:24+00:00

wound irrigationWound irrigation is arguably one of the most important steps in closing a laceration, because all lacerations should be considered to be contaminated. Irrigation is considered the foundation in preventing infection. A common way to cleanse a wound is to irrigate a wound using a 20 cc syringe, angiocatheter, and splash protector. To achieve 500 cc of irrigation, however, it would require 25 syringe refills! Is there a better, cost-effective alternative?
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19 07, 2017

Management of Major Pelvic Trauma

2017-07-19T21:58:25+00:00

pelvic trauma fracturePelvic trauma frequently is associated with other injuries from the high force required to break the pelvis. Management is focused on stabilizing the pelvis and stopping the bleeding. Due to other injuries requiring emergent surgical stabilization, pelvic trauma is primarily managed surgically with pre-peritoneal packing and external fixation, followed by angioembolization for continued bleeding. Emergency physicians must quickly resuscitate patients while gathering vital information to direct the correct definitive bleeding control strategy. New endovascular techniques such as REBOA (Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta) may change future emergency department strategies and improve mortality in severe pelvic trauma. 
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6 03, 2017

PV Card: Laceration Repair and Sutures – A cheat sheet guide

2017-08-01T23:52:41+00:00

laceration repair and suturesLaceration repair and suturing are foundational skills for the Emergency Department. This pocket card serves as a quick reference guide for clinicians, and provides a much-needed update and design upgrade from the 2011 PV card on Sutures. This card covers suture/staple removal times, suture sizes, suture material characteristics, special laceration considerations, and suture techniques.

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