Trick: Peritonsillar abscess drainage 3.0 | All the steps with added variations

Peritonsillar abscess drainage pelvic speculum

A 25-year-old medical student comes in with a muffled voice, sore throat and trismus. You look at the back of her throat and you see the uvula deviated to the right. You astutely diagnosed a peritonsillar abscess (PTA). You consider aspirating and want to check for tips on how to successfully do this.

Dr. Michelle Lin and Dr. Demian Szyld have created great guides for the common and important emergency medicine procedure of draining a PTA (laryngoscope lighting and spinal needle for aspiration; ultrasound localization and spinal needle guard; avoiding awkward one-handed needle aspiration). This update reviews these tricks as well as some additional techniques for optimal success in draining a PTA, while avoiding the ultimate feared complication of puncturing the carotid artery.

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2019-08-11T21:31:30-07:00

SAEM Clinical Image Series: Another Heart Attack?

Another heart attack

[Figure 1: Click for larger view]

Chief Complaint: Chest pain

History of Present Illness: An 89-year-old female with a past medical history of coronary artery disease and with recent admission for myocardial infarction that was medically managed, presented with chest pain and shortness of breath. She reports worsening midsternal chest pain that occasionally radiates to her back and right arm since discharge.

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2019-07-28T21:30:40-07:00

Pediatric Point of Care Ultrasonography ALiEMU Course on Intussusception

intussusception

Our ALiEMU learning management system, which currently houses the AIR series, Capsules series, and In-Training Exam Prep courses, is ready to slowly open the doors to welcome external authors with high quality content. We are thrilled to welcome a UCSF-sponsored pediatric emergency medicine (EM) point of care ultrasonography (POCUS) series, led by Dr. Margaret Lin. The first course is on the intussusception scan, filled with multiple ultrasound scans showing normal variants and two different types of intussusception.

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2019-06-28T13:39:08-07:00

Ultrasound Gel Warmers in the Emergency Department?

warm ultrasound gel

How many times have you told a patient “The gel will be cold?” How many times have you watched a patient retract from the transducer because of the cold gel? How about a pediatric patient? Could warm gel improve your rate of clinically successful scans? It seems easy enough to install gel warmers alongside our ultrasound machines. But, should we do this?

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DIY Ultrasound Model Compendium in Emergency Medicine

As the use of point-of-care ultrasound expands in emergency medicine, phantoms offer an attractive training solution for new learners and continuing education. Unfortunately, commercially available products are expensive and likely cost-prohibitive for individual practitioners to purchase. Luckily, there are a number of quality, low cost do-it-yourself (DIY) models published in journals and on the Internet. To help you navigate your options, I have created a compendium of DIY ultrasound models relevant to emergency medicine. The models are divided by system or application with a cost estimate for each model, if provided, as well as a list of materials and a short description. Links are provided for further reading.

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2019-04-26T15:26:28-07:00

ACMT Toxicology Visual Pearls: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

The following ultrasound video was obtained in a hypotensive 23 year-old man with a history of drug abuse. What drug of abuse when used chronically is most likely to lead to this ultrasound finding in an otherwise healthy patient?

 

  1. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  2. Cannabis
  3. Psilocybin
  4. Cocaine
  5. Opioids

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Trick of the Trade: Bubble Study for Confirmation of Central Line Placement

Ultrasound Needle

The safe placement a central venous catheter (CVC) remains an important part of caring for critically ill patients.1 Over 5 million CVCs are placed each year in the United States. It is crucial to confirm that the central line is placed in the correct position in order to rule out potential complications of the procedure (e.g. pneumothorax) and begin administration of life-saving medications. Post-procedure chest radiographs (CXR) are the standard of care for CVC placements above the diaphragm. However, the annual cost to the U.S. healthcare system for CXRs after CVC placement is estimated to be over $500 million.2 Further, in a busy ED, the limited availability of portable radiography may pose a considerable time delay. Radiography may also be limited in resource‐poor and austere settings, particularly the prehospital and military environments. We review a faster, cheaper, and more accurate alternative for evaluating CVC placement: point of care ultrasound (POCUS).

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2019-01-31T13:41:52-07:00