Purple Urine Bag Syndrome: A visual diagnosis and what it means for your patient

purple urine bag syndrome

A 78-year-old male is brought in from his nursing home for evaluation of hypotension. He has a prior history of multiple strokes and is bed bound. He arrives febrile, tachycardic, and hypotensive. On your physical exam, you notice that he has an indwelling foley catheter. The catheter tubing and bag have a vibrant purple color. You wonder if this unusual urine color could be caused by something insidious. Could this be related to a toxin, medication, or infection?

By |2020-09-02T11:30:29-07:00Sep 23, 2020|Diagnose on Sight, Genitourinary|

Diagnose on Sight: Scrotal Swelling


Case: A 58-year-old male with no past medical history presents to the emergency department for evaluation of right lower quadrant abdominal pain associated with right scrotal swelling. The patient reports that he had a colonoscopy the day before to remove a 20 mm polyp, which had been seen on an outpatient CT scan. He states that he noticed that his right scrotum appeared slightly swollen immediately away after the procedure, but since then the swelling had increased and he developed mild right lower quadrant abdominal pain. Physical examination reveals mild tenderness to the right lower quadrant and swelling of the right scrotum with palpable crepitus of the right scrotum and inguinal canal.  There is no overlying skin discoloration.  What is the most likely diagnosis?


Diagnose on Sight: Post-traumatic Finger Pain

acute osteomyelitis Case: A 32-year-old male with a past medical history of diabetes presents with a 1 month history of finger pain after slamming his finger in a car door. 2 weeks after the initial incident he presented to the emergency department for worsening pain and received x-rays that were negative for acute fracture. Today he presents reporting pain radiating up the hand, arm, and into the shoulder, with associated chills. His labs are significant for hyperglycemia, hyponatremia, and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and c-reactive protein. His x-ray is seen here (figure 1 image courtesy of Daniel Rogan, MD). What is the diagnosis?


Case of a Blue, Painful Finger

endocarditisA 37-year-old female presented to the emergency department for evaluation of numbness and discoloration to her left fourth finger, which had started the day before. The patient stated that she was gardening the previous day and afterward she noticed the discoloration and pain. The patient denied taking any medications. She reported recreational methamphetamine and heroin use. She denied any chest pain or difficulty breathing. She denied any history of Raynaud’s phenomenon, venous thromboembolism, or history of trauma. The patient was afebrile with normal vital signs. Physical exam revealed cyanotic discoloration to the left distal fourth finger.  Sensation was intact to light touch and strength was 5 out of 5 in the finger. The capillary refill was diminished. Radial and ulnar pulses were 2+ bilaterally. Initially, a warm pack was placed to the patient’s finger with slight improvement, but without resolution of the pain and cyanosis. What is the diagnosis?


Diagnose on Sight: Case of a red, swollen neck

Ludwig's AnginaCase: A 78 year-old female with a past medical history of asthma and hypothyroidism presents with a three day history of sore throat and a two day history of a “lump” along the right side of her neck. The “lump” has now progressed to involve both sides of her anterior neck and is accompanied with erythema, tenderness to palpation, and swelling. In addition, the patient has developed a hoarse voice and odynophagia. The patient’s primary care physician referred her to an ENT specialist, who then referred the patient to the ED for urgent imaging due to the concern for a deep space neck infection. Triage vitals are remarkable for a heart rate of 118 beats per minute. She is otherwise normotensive and afebrile. On physical exam, slight crepitation in noted on the floor of the patient’s mouth. Of note, the patient also informs you of her penicillin allergy. Which of the following is the biggest risk factor for this particular disease process? 


By |2016-12-22T19:19:10-08:00Aug 17, 2016|Diagnose on Sight, ENT|

Diagnose on Sight: Swollen Leg

Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens_1 editedCase: A 58 year-old female presents with a one-day history of worsening right lower extremity pain and swelling, and an acute onset of dyspnea. Her past medical history consists of stage IV renal cell carcinoma diagnosed six months previously. Triage vitals are remarkable for a heart rate of 120 beats per minute and a blood pressure of 68/48 mmHg. What is the diagnosis?



By |2016-12-22T18:13:01-08:00Jun 14, 2016|Cardiovascular, Diagnose on Sight|

Diagnose on Sight: Shortness of Breath

shortness of breathCase: 55-year-old restrained driver is reporting severe shortness of breath and right sided chest pain after a high-speed motor vehicle collision. Her respiratory rate is 26 breaths/min and her oxygen saturation is 96% on a 15-liter non-rebreather. She has decreased breath sounds on the right, epigastric tenderness, and an abdominal seatbelt sign. What is the diagnosis?


By |2016-12-22T19:21:45-08:00Jan 18, 2016|Diagnose on Sight, Trauma|
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