History of Present Illness: A 33-year-old male went river fishing with a homemade spear and diving mask in Papua New Guinea. He felt sudden pain and tugging to the right lower extremity. He was near shore and grabbed a tree root. He held on for dear life as he was being pulled back into the water. It felt as if his foot had been torn off. He did not let go of the tree root and eventually the pulling force ceased. He got out of the water and walked 2 miles unassisted before finding help and hospital transport.
Welcome to Leg Day #3 of the SplintER Series! Performing a fast and focused history and physical examination of a patient with an acute knee injury is an important skill that has the potential to be overlooked in our busy Emergency Departments. Our hope is that after reviewing this post and with enough practice you will be able to complete your exam within 2 minutes! These are can’t-miss points and expert tips on the knee exam for your next shift in the ED.Read more
Blunt Cerebrovascular Injury (BCVI) can be difficult to diagnose and potentially devastating to miss because of the risk of a potential ischemic stroke. The most recent (2010) Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) guidelines reviewed 68 journal publications to create the following recommendations based on the best available evidence.1 We summarize the imaging and management recommendations most pertinent to the ED as an infographic for quick and easy reference.1,2 Of note: an isolated neck seat belt sign is NOT an indication for imaging!
A 32 year old woman arrives in your emergency department after being in a motor vehicle collision where she was the seat-belted driver. She undergoes chest CT imaging despite a negative chest x-ray because of her ongoing anterior chest wall diffuse tenderness. You discover a small 10% pneumothorax (PTX), but no other associated thoracic injuries. Should you place a tube thoracostomy (chest tube)? Should this patient be admitted to the hospital? A 2019 Annals of Emergency Medicine paper by the NEXUS Chest research group tackles these questions.1
Emergency Medicine (EM) residents are expected to be familiar with and competent in performing a wide number of procedures, including rare ones such as performing an escharotomy in a patient with severe burns. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of readily available simulation models to facilitate practice of this rare yet potentially life-saving skill.
Welcome to Leg Day #2 of the SplintER Series. Following up with the Leg Day #1’s primer on tibial plateau fractures, another key orthopedic injury of the leg is hip dislocation. A hip dislocation occurs when there is separation of the head of the femur from the acetabulum of the pelvis in either an anterior or posterior direction.1
Drowning cases peak this time of year and represent a leading cause of mortality in children. For example, drowning represents the leading cause of death in boys ages 5-14 years old, and worldwide, there are 500,000 annual deaths from drowning.1 Hypoxic injury and subsequent respiratory failure represent the primary causes of morbidity and mortality. Although providers are typically taught to be aware of possible trauma (e.g. cervical spine fracture) when evaluating a drowning case, less than 0.5% of drownings are traumatic.2 The duration of immersion, volume of aspirated fluid, and water temperature dictate clinical outcomes.1 We review the presentation, pathophysiology, and management of drowning to raise awareness about this important public health issue.