A 76-year-old obese male with a history of severe COPD presents to your emergency department (ED) in acute respiratory distress. The patient’s large beard prevents an adequate seal with the NIV (non-invasive ventilation) mask, and the patient continues to desaturate. You are fairly sure that this patient will be a difficult airway and optimizing oxygenation prior to and during your intubation attempt would be ideal. Now what?
Handshaking has been practiced as far back as the 5th century BC and used today as a common way of greeting others. In the hospital setting this occurs multiple times throughout the day. Many alternatives to the handshake have been developed and utilized, but they have failed to replace the handshake as a form of greeting. Nosocomial infections have been identified as a major preventable complication of inpatient care and one of the most important initiatives to reduce this is hand hygiene. The authors of this study propose the fist bump as a safe and effective way to avoid hand-to-hand contact and therefore reduce transmission of infection. 1 (more…)
Early in my career as a Child Life Specialist, I was working with a 4 year old girl who needed her port catheter accessed. She was beginning to panic with rapid breathing and moving around. She was clearly on the verge of screaming at any moment. Her panic made everyone in the room feel anxious. I knew I had to do something, so I got on one knee, looked her in the eye and said, “Just breathe.” Without missing a beat, she leaned in closer to me and said, “I am!”… Touché my little friend.
You have a patient with an anion gap of 30 and bicarbonate of 10 mEq/L. You also determine on VBG that the patient’s pCO2 is 25 mmHg. What trick of the trade can you use to quickly determine whether this low pCO2 is an appropriate compensation of the primary metabolic acidosis? Dr. Jeremy Faust and Dr. Corey Slovis explains the quick “Rule of 15”.
A 9 year-old patient presents with a headache and fever after swimming, along with subjective neck stiffness. Meningitis was of concern especially because the serum WBC count was 25,000 and other inflammatory markers were elevated. Because the patient’s mother had an unpleasant experience with an epidural during childbirth, she adamantly opposed the idea of a lumbar puncture (LP).
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and neither do simulation manikins, not even on simulated trees. So what to do when you are looking for a cheaper, more easily replicated solution to simulation dilemmas? This is the perfect time to fall back on skills developed in childhood during Arts & Crafts hour. Consider paper mache! So easy to use, and guaranteed to bring back childhood memories!
Simulations are routine now in medical training. But sometimes routine can start to get boring! All learners now know, especially for high fidelity simulations, to prepare for the unexpected. The stable patient will inevitably crash, maybe when your back is turned; the confederate in the room may or may not be a friend or a foe, you may never know! But these twists have become so integral to the simulation case that most learners know how to deal with it, or at the least know to anticipate it. But here is an idea for adding a new challenge to a stale simulation case. Blindfold the leader!