In emergency medicine, we are so heavily trained in resuscitation that any senior resident could recite the ACLS algorithm to you after being woken up at 3 am. However, the real work begins after the pulse return. Up to two-thirds of patients with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) will not survive to discharge.1,2 This approach, modeled after the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines3 and an excellent review article by Dr. Jacob Jentzer et al,4 can help guide you through the chaos to stabilize your next post-ROSC patient.
Welcome to another ultrasound-based case, part of the “Ultrasound For The Win!” (#US4TW) Case Series. In this case series, we focus on a real clinical case where point-of-care ultrasound changed the management of a patient’s care or aided in the diagnosis. In this case, a 40-year-old woman presents with a fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, and generalized weakness.
Patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) often cause much anxiety amongst providers in the emergency department. This is understandable with all of the hardware, diminished or absent peripheral pulses at baseline, and potential for complications. To add to the already helpful reviews about LVADs at REBELEM and emDocs, this is a PV card set providing a methodical approach to troubleshooting LVAD complications, including a reproduction of an algorithm for managing the LVAD patient with altered mental status from EMCrit.1–3
We love magnesium in the Emergency Department. It’s been said that magnesium is second-line for everything (kind of like doxycycline). But what about rate/rhythm control in atrial fibrillation (AF)? The 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with AF doesn’t mention magnesium at all.1 Dr. Josh Farkas (@PulmCrit) wrote about magnesium infusions for atrial fibrillation and torsade last year. His post looked at its use for cardioversion, rhythm-control, and rate-control in critically-ill patients. Our post will focus specifically on the IV magnesium data for rate-control in ED-related settings.
Case: 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?
The Problem: A patient is rolled in to your ED by EMS with extremity trauma. You’re rightfully concerned about possible vascular injury to an upper or lower extremity, but you can’t palpate a dorsalis pedis (DP) or posterior tibialis (PT) pulse! You spend minutes, whisking the doppler probe, attempting to hear a waveform in a busy ED. Unfortunately you can’t seem to hear the “whoosh,” making accurate it nearly impossible for you to measure ankle-brachial indices (ABI). 1–3