Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians care for anyone, with anything, at any time. This includes pediatric patients as well as adults. For those without advanced pediatric training, “sick kids” can be quite intimidating. Rashes in the pediatric population are often benign, but in rare cases they portend significant illness. Rashes are also frequent chief complaints; In 2015, there were 1,452,300 pediatric ED visits for “skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders” . We sought to improve the teaching of pediatric rashes in our residency curriculum.
A 62 year old female with no past medical history presented to the ED with fevers, generalized weakness, severe muscle aches, and a rash. She had returned home from the Philippines 3 days prior to evaluation. Twenty-four hours prior to arrival, the patient noticed a rash on her shins. She denied any nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, dysuria, urinary frequency, headache, and neck pain. The patient was in the Philippines for a family funeral and was indoors for most of the trip. She was unsure if she was stung by any bugs or mosquitos.
A 9-year-old male with no past medical history, brought in by his mother to the ER with a new rash on his face and torso. The rash began 10 days ago. On the day he developed the rash, the patient noted swimming in a newly chlorinated outdoor pool. That same day he also played with freshly picked oranges and limes outdoors with his friends, having squeezed the juices onto his head and body. He developed a non-painful, non-pruritic, hyper-pigmented rash on his left cheek.
Over the course of 3 days, the patient and his family went on a trip to a local river, during which the rash evolved to scattered patches on his face and dorsum of his hands with an associated burning sensation exacerbated by contact with hot water or sunscreen. He received outpatient treated by a medical provider at day 3 for presumed infection with both oral and topical antibiotics. He completed the antibiotics, with worsening of his skin lesions. They have since formed blisters and affected his torso.
The patient never had any similar symptoms, or allergies. He had no sick contacts or travel outside the U.S. He denies any history of trauma, thermal burns, or arthropod exposure. The patient has not had fevers, respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, or urinary symptoms.
A 65-year-old female without any significant past medical history presented to the emergency department with left eye pain and redness. She also reported a developing rash to left side of her face over the last 24 hours.
A 25 year old male with a history of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after an allogeneic stem cell transplant, which has been in remission for 6 years. He presents with a headache and rash. 4 days ago the patient noticed a rash on the abdomen that was itchy, but not painful. Today, he noticed a similar rash on his face.
The headache started yesterday, waking him up from sleep. It is now slowly getting worse. He endorses chills, nausea, neck stiffness, neck pain, myalgias, and photophobia. He denies fevers, vomiting and phonophobia. He does have small headaches regularly but this headache is one of the most painful of his life. He does not take any immunosuppressants or medications.
A 50-year-old female with a history of bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and alcoholism presented to the ED after her family found her at home agitated, restless, and with a “large black burn” on her face. Her husband reported that she had been “picking” at this area of her face earlier in the day; at that time it appeared only slightly red. Per her husband, the patient had also felt “bugs crawling on her legs” and had been picking at and grabbing her legs on the day of presentation.
The child with a fever and rash in your Emergency Department (ED) may actually have measles. This year, there have been 1,182 cases of measles in the U.S., and counting. This is the highest rate in the past 27 years . Globally, measles kills over a hundred thousand children . In the U.S., one child dies for about every 1,000 cases . Emergency providers must be able to quickly detect short-term complications that can lead to death and distinguish measles from mimics like Kawasaki Disease. It’s no coincidence that this year’s outbreak is in the setting of lower vaccination rates. The CDC now has new vaccine recommendations, and it’s imperative that ED providers join forces with public health providers to prevent future measles cases and deaths (photo credit).(more…)