A 64 year old man with an extensive history of abdominal surgeries presents to the emergency department with abdominal pain and vomiting. Because you suspect a bowel obstruction, you bring an ultrasound machine to the bedside prior to the completion of any laboratory testing or other imaging. A curvilinear probe in the abdominal mode setting was used to scan in all four quadrants of the abdomen looking in both the sagittal and transverse planes.
Case: A 45 year old female with end-stage renal disease presents with 2 days of worsening pain, swelling, and color change of her left upper extremity. The symptoms began after her left arm arteriovenous (AV) fistula was accessed for hemodialysis. The skin is tense and a bruit is present. What is your diagnosis for this swollen upper extremity? Click on the image for a larger view.
You are spending a month in rural Kenya, doing an ultrasound teaching course. Your enthusiastic participants have been ultrasounding every chance they get. Unfortunately, this has caused your ultrasound gel supplies to dwindle. It will be a month before a new shipment of gel arrives from Nairobi. This gel will cost about $5 per bottle, which is a considerable expense for the local hospital’s budget.
It’s 3 am in the middle of your busy night shift and you begin your evaluation of a 65 year-old woman with diabetes with several hours of unilateral flashes of light in her left eye. Her visual fields seem normal, but you are unable to see her fundus with your direct ophthalmoscope. Luckily, you remembered the teaching from your ultrasound rotation during residency.
Need a quick refresher course on how to do an ultrasound-guided ear block or ankle arthrocentesis? I recently found out about Drs. Andrew Herring and Arun Nagdev’s Highland Emergency Ultrasound website and thought it was a great resource to share with others in the EM world. The website has easy-to-follow pictorial instructions of anatomic landmarks, probe placement, and ultrasound images of the most common blocks and other procedures.
To provide a resource for evidence-based Emergency Medical education, this list of must-read landmark articles was created to supplement the Emergency Medicine (EM) internship year of training. There are 52 articles so that one article can be read at leisure each week of the year. I searched national databases and polled faculty at the University of Washington to identify articles that faculty would expect any EM resident to be familiar with or that they felt were practice-changing in EM. Articles were selected for the final list based on the quality of study design, sample size, and relevance for EM residents.
All the years of ultrasound training in residency has paid off. You found the large pericardial effusion in the hypotensive patient who is still alive, but looks sick. You are a star! The only problem was that you never performed a pericardiocentesis in an awake patient. The cardiology fellow is at home sleeping and/or the closest receiving hospital is about 1 hour away. Now what?
Dr. Arun Nagdev reviews how to do an ultrasound guided pericardiocentesis as part of this new, ongoing series of advanced ultrasound tips for emergency physicians.