SAEM Clinical Image Series: Worsening Sore Throat

Computed tomography neck

A 40-year-old  male presented to the emergency department (ED) complaining of a sore throat for one week. The patient had presented ten days earlier following a stab wound to the anterior neck that violated the platysma. There was no vascular injury noted on the computed tomography angiography (CTA) but there was extensive soft tissue damage with emphysema extending into the retropharyngeal space. The patient underwent a flexible laryngoscopy by ENT, which showed no airway injury. He was observed in the intensive care unit for two days, then discharged. Following discharge, the patient had progressive sore throat and odynophagia, so he re-presented to the ED.

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SAEM Clinical Image Series: An Oropharyngeal Mass

oropharyngeal mass

A fifty-year-old male presented to the emergency department (ED) unconscious with CPR in progress. Per EMS report, the patient was found down surrounded by emesis with no pulse or respirations. Fifteen minutes of CPR was performed prior to arrival in the ED with a King Tube in place. The King Tube was filled with emesis and increasingly difficult to bag. The King Tube was removed to attempt intubation and maximize oxygenation and ventilation.

When the Mac 4 blade was placed in the mouth, a large, pink, fleshy, and vascularized structure was seen in the mouth just anterior to where the uvula should have been located.  Attempts were made to compress the mass into the tongue, separate the tongue from the mass, and sweep the mass out of the way. All attempts failed to expose the epiglottis. An attempt was made to remove the mass, but it appeared to be part of the mouth.  The decision was made to proceed with a cricothyrotomy; a 6.0 tube was successfully placed, and the patient was able to be ventilated. Return of spontaneous circulation was never achieved and the patient expired in the ED.

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Trick of the Trade: Tracheostomy leak temporization

Patients who are tracheostomy and ventilator dependent are at increased risk for complications the longer they remain in this condition. One common complication is tracheomalacia. Progressive tracheomalacia can lead to air leaks around the tracheostomy cannula balloon. Initially, this can be managed by placing a longer tracheostomy cannula deeper into the trachea, however, these are often unavailable in the emergency department [1]. A second line strategy is to temporarily over-inflate the balloon, however, with chronic overinflation, eventually both the trachea and the neck stoma become too large, leading to an inability to maintain appropriate positive pressure (PEEP) and tidal volume necessary to ventilate the patient [2]. 

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By |2020-05-21T18:27:01-07:00Feb 3, 2020|ENT, Tricks of the Trade|

PEM Pearls: 5 Tips to Demystify Amoxicillin in Pediatric Infections

Amoxicillin is a penicillin derivative antibiotic against susceptible gram positive and gram negative bacteria. It has reasonable coverage for most upper respiratory infections and is used as prophylaxis for asplenia and bacterial endocarditis. This post aims to demystify amoxicillin treatment for common pediatric infections.

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SAEM Clinical Image Series: Facial Swelling in a 2 Year Old

Facial swelling


[Click for larger view]

Chief complaint: Left-sided facial swelling

History of Present Illness: A 2-year-old male presents to the emergency department in January after waking up with left-sided facial swelling. Mother states her son has had cough and congestion for the past 4 days for which she has been giving Tylenol and a children’s cough medication. The patient went to bed, awoke the following morning with facial swelling, and was brought to the emergency department.

He has no allergies, history of trauma to the area, or bug bites. The patient is fully vaccinated including the influenza vaccine.

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Trick: Peritonsillar abscess drainage 3.0 | All the steps with added variations

Peritonsillar abscess drainage pelvic speculum

A 25-year-old medical student comes in with a muffled voice, sore throat and trismus. You look at the back of her throat and you see the uvula deviated to the right. You astutely diagnosed a peritonsillar abscess (PTA). You consider aspirating and want to check for tips on how to successfully do this.

Dr. Michelle Lin and Dr. Demian Szyld have created great guides for the common and important emergency medicine procedure of draining a PTA (laryngoscope lighting and spinal needle for aspiration; ultrasound localization and spinal needle guard; avoiding awkward one-handed needle aspiration). This update reviews these tricks as well as some additional techniques for optimal success in draining a PTA, while avoiding the ultimate feared complication of puncturing the carotid artery.

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By |2020-08-13T11:15:27-07:00Aug 9, 2019|ENT, Tricks of the Trade, Ultrasound|
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