EMRad: Can’t Miss Elbow Injuries

lateral elbow fat pads

Have you ever been working a shift at 3 am and wondered, “Am I missing something? I’ll just splint and instruct the patient to follow up with their PCP in 1 week.” This is a reasonable approach, especially if you’re concerned there could be a fracture. But we can do better. Enter the “Can’t Miss” series: a series organized by body part that will help identify injuries that ideally should not be missed. This list is not meant to be comprehensive review of each body part, but rather to highlight and improve your sensitivity for these potentially catastrophic injuries. To begin: “Can’t Miss” adult elbow injuries.

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2019-09-13T09:18:01-07:00

EMRad: Radiologic Approach to the Traumatic Elbow

 elbow lateral xray normal

Radiology teaching during medical school is variable, ranging from informal teaching to required clerkships.​1​ Many of us likely received an approach to a chest x-ray, but approaches to other studies may or may not have not been taught. We can do better! Enter EMRad, a series aimed at providing approaches and improving interpretation of commonly ordered radiology studies in the emergency department. When applicable, it will provide pertinent measurements specific to management, and offer a framework for when to get an additional view, if appropriate. To begin: the elbow. 

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2019-09-13T09:28:50-07:00

SAEM Clinical Image Series: Hip Pain

hip pain anterior inferior iliac spine fracture

[Click for larger view]

Chief complaint: Left hip pain

History of Present Illness: A healthy right leg-dominant 13-year-old male athlete presents with left hip pain after kicking a soccer ball.

He states that he kicked the ball awkwardly and experienced hip pain immediately afterwards. He did not feel a pop or cracking sensation but could not stand after the kick and fell to the ground. He can ambulate but only with significant pain.

He now has 8/10 sharp, non-radiating left hip pain that is worse with movement, weight-bearing and palpation.

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2019-09-09T17:23:16-07:00

Differentiating pericardial effusion from pericardial tamponade on ultrasound

Tamponade physiology, in which a pericardial effusion impedes cardiac output, is a medical emergency and requires prompt diagnosis and intervention before cardiovascular collapse ensues. However, not every fluid collection in the pericardial sac results in tamponade physiology. A clinical diagnosis of tamponade (Beck’s triad) has poor sensitivity and will occur only in the late stages of tamponade.​1​ In order to know whether or not an intervention is necessary for the setting of pericardial effusion, ultrasound diagnosis of tamponade is paramount. 

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2019-08-30T10:13:06-07:00

Ultrasound for the Win! 18M with dysphagia #US4TW

Peritonsillar abscess ultrasound

Welcome to another ultrasound-based case, part of the “Ultrasound For The Win!” (#US4TW) Case Series. In this case series, we focus on a real clinical case where bedside ultrasound changed the management or aided in the diagnosis. In this case, an 18-year-old man presents with a sore throat.

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2019-08-27T16:37:53-07:00

Fascia iliaca nerve block: A hip fracture best-practice

fascia iliaca nerve block hip fracture

An 82-year-old woman presents with left hip pain after a mechanical fall while cleaning the kitchen floor. When EMS arrived, the left leg was foreshortened and externally rotated. The paramedics administered 10 mg of IV morphine, but she is still writhing in pain on arrival. The AP pelvic x-ray demonstrates a left femoral neck fracture (arrow). You consider performing a fascia iliaca nerve block for better pain control.

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2019-09-09T13:55:18-07:00

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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2019-08-11T21:31:30-07:00