A 3-year-old male presents to the emergency department (ED) complaining of vomiting and diarrhea that has been occurring for 2 days. The mother states that the child has had fewer wet diapers today but has made tears when crying. On physical examination you note no rebound or guarding of the abdomen and determine that the child is moderately dehydrated. Your initial plan is to administer ondansetron and rehydrate the child orally. This is what you have been taught but is it actually efficacious? A just published 2014 JAMA Pediatrics article attempted to answer this question.
Upper gastrointestinal bleeding remains a common reason for emergency department visits and is a major cause of morbidity, mortality, and medical care costs. Often when these patients arrive, the classic IV-O2-Monitor is initiated and hemodynamic stability is assessed. Some of the next steps often performed include:
- Determination of the site and rate of bleeding (upper vs lower)
- Initiation of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
- Somatostatin analogs if variceal bleeding is suspected
- Prophylactic antibiotics
- Packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusion for low hemoglobin and hematocrit levels
What is the evidence for these treatments, and do they affect morbidity and mortality?
A patient actively vomiting is wheeled into your ED. Within minutes IV access is obtained, and your nurse asks what tests and medicines are wanted. A liter of normal saline, ondansetron, and an H2 blocker are easy, but what labs to order? I think we can all agree on a metabolic profile to look at electrolytes and liver function tests, and a lipase level to assess for pancreatitis. But what about an amylase level?
Originally from Clinical Monster blog
Let’s face it. You’ve heard about the A-a gradient. And free water deficit. And even the APACHE-II score. But how useful are these in your daily practice? You don’t care that much if a patient has shunt physiology in the first case, nor exactly how much free water they’re lacking in the second. And in the third case, your clinical acumen is probably pretty good at predicting a sick patient’s mortality already. But what about the new medical scores of BISAP, EHMRG, and ORT?
To provide a resource for evidence-based Emergency Medical education, this list of must-read landmark articles was created to supplement the Emergency Medicine (EM) internship year of training. There are 52 articles so that one article can be read at leisure each week of the year. I searched national databases and polled faculty at the University of Washington to identify articles that faculty would expect any EM resident to be familiar with or that they felt were practice-changing in EM. Articles were selected for the final list based on the quality of study design, sample size, and relevance for EM residents.
Nasogastric lavage (NGL) seems to be a logical procedure in the evaluation of patients with suspected upper GI bleeding, but does the evidence support the logic? Most studies state that endoscopy should occur within 24 hours of presentation, but the optimal timing within the first 24 hours is unclear. Rebleeding is the greatest predictor of mortality, and these patients benefit from aggressive, early endoscopic hemostatic therapy and/or surgery. So what are the arguments for and against NGL?
A patient with advanced alcoholic cirrhosis with ascitic fluid leaking from a paracentesis puncture site from a procedure done 2 days prior. Dermabond had initially been applied post-procedure, but it had come loose, and ascitic fluid had been saturating dressing after dressing.