US4TW Case: 30M with Blunt Abdominal Trauma

Welcome to another ultrasound-based case, part of the “Ultrasound For The Win!” (#US4TW) Case Series. In this peer-reviewed case series, we focus on real clinical cases where bedside ultrasound changed management or aided in diagnoses. In today’s case, a 30-year-old male is brought in after blunt trauma from a high-speed MVC.

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Antibiotics, Myasthenia Gravis, and Risk of Weakness

antibioticsA 71 year old female presents to the ED with lethargy, fever (39.5 C), and tachypnea (RR 28 rpm). She has a long-standing history of myasthenia gravis (MG) for which she receives periodic IVIG infusions. She is accompanied by her son, who informs you that she had a recent 10-day hospital stay for weakness. A CXR reveals an infiltrate in the left lower lobe.

The decision is made to initiate antimicrobial therapy for presumed healthcare-associated pneumonia. But, which antibiotics are safe to use in a patient with severe MG?

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Valproic Acid-Induced Hyperammonemic Encephalopathy

Valproic AcidValproic acid is used for a variety of clinical indications including seizures, migraine prophylaxis and treatment, and bipolar disorder. A metabolite of valproic acid, thought to be propionic acid, has the ability to increase ammonia levels by inhibiting a step in the hepatic urea cycle, which may lead to valproic acid-induced hyperammonemic encephalopathy. As a result, patients treated with valproic acid presenting with signs and symptoms of acute mental status changes, increased seizure frequency, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms should be evaluated for elevated ammonia concentrations.

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By |2016-11-16T09:41:30-08:00Oct 16, 2014|Tox & Medications|

Blunt Chest Trauma: Validation of the NEXUS Chest Rule

Rib fx Chest CTWe commonly see patients who have some form of blunt chest trauma. This is the result of motor vehicle collisions, falls, and a myriad of other traumatic events. The decision to perform thoracic imaging can be difficult. Chest xray (CXR) and/or chest CT? In fact, studies have shown that emergency and trauma physicians often disagree 28-40.9% of the time about which patients require a chest CT following blunt trauma. 1,2

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – It’s That Time of Year Again

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.29.50 PMCarbon monoxide (CO) poisoning may be the most common cause of fatal poisonings worldwide. 1 The majority of poisonings occur in the Fall and Winter. It is that time of year when heaters that have lain dormant all summer are flicked on, sometimes in enclosed areas, introducing CO fumes into homes. The pathophysiology is complex, and not fully understood, but all ED physicians should be aware of the signs and symptoms of CO toxicity, and know how to treat it.

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By |2016-11-11T19:22:45-08:00Oct 8, 2014|Tox & Medications|

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Order a CT Pan Scan in a Stable Blunt Trauma Patient

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The pendulum has swung one way with CT for trauma, but has it gone too far? Liberal use of CT raises concerns over resource utilization, cost, and the consequences of radiation exposure [1,2]. No-one can seem to agree, including trauma surgeons, on guidelines for a more selective use of imaging studies [3-6].

“CT pan scan” is the term, source unclear, which describes the whole body CT (WBCT) imaging strategy used in blunt trauma management. It consists of the following CT studies:

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By |2017-03-05T14:18:47-08:00Oct 6, 2014|Radiology, Trauma|
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