SAEM Clinical Image Series: Severe Cutaneous Lesions in an Immunocompromised Host

cutaneous lesions

A thirty-one-year-old female presented to the emergency department with the complaint of a painful rash for 2 days. She has a history of HIV with a known CD4 count < 200 cells/µL. She states that the rash began two days ago and progressed to the current size. She describes the rash as burning and has never experienced these symptoms before. She has tried topical corticosteroids which did not alleviate the pain.

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SAEM Clinical Image Series: Found Down with Altered Mental Status

non-contrast head CT

A forty-nine-year-old male with a history of polysubstance abuse, including methamphetamine and intravenous (IV) drug use, rectal cancer, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was brought into the emergency department by emergency medical services (EMS) after he was found down at the bottom of a flight of stairs by his roommate. In the emergency room, he was found to have a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 7 and was intubated for airway protection. Non-contrast head CT was performed. Per the roommate, the patient had been “not himself,” exhibiting strange behavior and weight loss. History and review of systems (ROS) were otherwise unobtainable due to the acuity of illness.

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Guideline Review: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention

Pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV (PrEP)While HIV medications receive much attention for the treatment of HIV infection, less attention has focused on the prophylaxis indications. In 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidelines on the indications for the HIV medications tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine (2′,3′-dideoxy-5-fluoro-3′-thiacytidine, FTC) for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The trade name for the combination medication is Truvada. These daily medications are taken by people at risk for HIV to prevent HIV. This Guideline Review succinctly summarizes the 77-page CDC document into the key pearls for emergency physicians.

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Healthcare Providers in the COVID-19 Era: Keeping Clean When Coming Home

COVID coronavirus keeping clean when coming homeGiven overcrowded hospitals and limited availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), showing up for work can feel like entering a battleground without ammunition for many physicians during the COVID-19 outbreak [1]. Despite this, doctors and nurses show up every day ready to do their jobs. While we have committed to the Hippocratic Oath, our families have not. How can we do our duty while preventing exposure of our loved ones at home [2, 3]?

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By |2020-04-02T13:52:58-07:00Apr 8, 2020|COVID19, Infectious Disease, Life|

Diagnose on Sight: Post-traumatic Finger Pain

acute osteomyelitis Case: A 32-year-old male with a past medical history of diabetes presents with a 1 month history of finger pain after slamming his finger in a car door. 2 weeks after the initial incident he presented to the emergency department for worsening pain and received x-rays that were negative for acute fracture. Today he presents reporting pain radiating up the hand, arm, and into the shoulder, with associated chills. His labs are significant for hyperglycemia, hyponatremia, and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and c-reactive protein. His x-ray is seen here (figure 1 image courtesy of Daniel Rogan, MD). What is the diagnosis?

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Case of a Blue, Painful Finger

endocarditisA 37-year-old female presented to the emergency department for evaluation of numbness and discoloration to her left fourth finger, which had started the day before. The patient stated that she was gardening the previous day and afterward she noticed the discoloration and pain. The patient denied taking any medications. She reported recreational methamphetamine and heroin use. She denied any chest pain or difficulty breathing. She denied any history of Raynaud’s phenomenon, venous thromboembolism, or history of trauma. The patient was afebrile with normal vital signs. Physical exam revealed cyanotic discoloration to the left distal fourth finger.  Sensation was intact to light touch and strength was 5 out of 5 in the finger. The capillary refill was diminished. Radial and ulnar pulses were 2+ bilaterally. Initially, a warm pack was placed to the patient’s finger with slight improvement, but without resolution of the pain and cyanosis. What is the diagnosis?

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SAEM Clinical Image Series: Tick Bite

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever tick bite hand rash

A 14 year old girl presenting from Mexicali with altered mental status. Her mother reports a rash about a week ago following a tick bite. She had been going to school until 4 days ago when she became very fatigued with associated vomiting, diarrhea, tactile fevers, and headache. She subsequently collapsed at home today and was difficult to arouse which prompted EMS activation. Her mother denies any prior complaint of neck stiffness, shortness of breath, cough, hematemesis, or hematochezia.

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