34-year-old female with a history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and pancreatitis presents for epigastric and left upper quadrant abdominal pain. Her symptoms started yesterday evening and have been worsening since onset. She reports chronic epigastric pain that waxes and wanes for several years since her first episode of pancreatitis in 2014. Yesterday she had an abrupt onset of nausea that accompanied the pain without emesis. The pain worsened and is now currently 10/10 in severity. She describes it as severe and deep. She has no bloody or dark stool. She denies any heavy alcohol use, changes in medications, or drug use.
Chief complaint: Foreign Body Ingestion
History of Present Illness:
A 4-year-old male presents to the Pediatric ED for evaluation of swallowed foreign body.
The mother reports the patient was at his grandmother’s house playing near a cabinet when they witnessed him put a small unknown object in his mouth and swallow. Family denies vomiting, difficulty breathing, change in behavior, abdominal pain, or any additional symptoms at this time.
Severe constipation, requiring fecal disimpaction and rectal enemas, can be excruciatingly painful for patients. Administering sedatives and opioids to help alleviate this pain poses a challenge, because many of the patients are elderly and tend to be more sensitive to these medications. Furthermore, there may be increased vagal tone when straining, leading to hypotension and bradycardia and which can result in defecation-related syncope. 1 Also, opioids can exacerbate constipation. Herein we present 2 cases and tricks on achieving better pain control.
Chief Complaint: Abdominal distention
History of Present Illness: A 36-year-old male with a history of cerebral palsy, gastrointestinal dysmotility, epilepsy, hypertension, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and insomnia presents to the ED after referral by his family physician for a 3-day history of abdominal distention. Due to the patient’s neurological disorder, he is unable to communicate but is accompanied by his mother who provides his medical history. The patient’s mother states that he had a loose bowel movement this morning, which is normal for him. He has had a history of bowel problems since the age of 14. Two months previously the patient was admitted for abdominal distention and had a rectal tube placed which relieved his symptoms. The patient has not experienced nausea, vomiting, or changes in bowel movements.
Our ALiEMU learning management system, which currently houses the AIR series, Capsules series, and In-Training Exam Prep courses, is ready to slowly open the doors to welcome external authors with high quality content. We are thrilled to welcome a UCSF-sponsored pediatric emergency medicine (EM) point of care ultrasonography (POCUS) series, led by Dr. Margaret Lin. The first course is on the intussusception scan, filled with multiple ultrasound scans showing normal variants and two different types of intussusception.(more…)
Welcome to the Gastrointestinal Module! After carefully reviewing all relevant posts from the top 50 sites of the Social Media Index, the ALiEM AIR Team is proud to present the highest quality online gastrointestinal content. 8 blog posts related to gastrointestinal emergencies within the past 12 months (as of September 2017) met our standard of online excellence and were curated and approved for residency training by the AIR Series Board. We identified 1 AIR and 7 Honorable Mentions. We recommend programs give 3 hours (about 22.5 minutes per article) of III credit for this module.
Congratulations, you’ve made it! On July 1, thousands of medical students across the country made the transition to becoming Emergency Medicine residents. It was a particularly competitive year for Emergency Medicine, with 99.7% of first-year spots filled despite a whopping 2,047 positions being offered in 2017 (up by 152 spots compared to last year).1 Now begins the most crucial 3 or 4 years of your medical training that will prepare you for the rest of your career in Emergency Medicine.