You need to perform an ultrasound on your patient. You walk up to the ultrasound and upon grabbing the machine, you notice it’s stuck! You look down and realize the ultrasound probe cable (particularly the linear probe) is impeding the wheel from rolling. You push the machine back, pick the cable up off the floor and off you go to scan to find that the probe is not working. As you try to figure out why it’s not working, you realize that the cable is exposed after repeated damage from the countless times the wheels on the machine rolled over the cable. Let’s prevent this from happening!(more…)
Imagine a busy evening shift interrupted by the news that the unstable dialysis patient still has no access. Begrudgingly, you drag the ultrasound into the patient’s room. Buried beneath a layer of muscle, a tiny vein lurks below an intimidating artery with a nerve nestled close by. Making matters worse, the patient is becoming increasingly more frustrated. “This always happens. I told them not to remove my last PICC line,” he notes. The use of ultrasound-guided IV improves successful cannulation and decreases complications, but cases like this have caused many emergency providers to resent, even fear, this basic procedure.1–4 Below, we provide additional techniques to increase your success and to avoid the risks associated with central line placement.(more…)
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.
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.(more…)
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.(more…)
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.