Need a quick refresher course on how to do an ultrasound-guided ear block or ankle arthrocentesis? I recently found out about Drs. Andrew Herring and Arun Nagdev’s Highland Emergency Ultrasound website and thought it was a great resource to share with others in the EM world. The website has easy-to-follow pictorial instructions of anatomic landmarks, probe placement, and ultrasound images of the most common blocks and other procedures.
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.
All the years of ultrasound training in residency has paid off. You found the large pericardial effusion in the hypotensive patient who is still alive, but looks sick. You are a star! The only problem was that you never performed a pericardiocentesis in an awake patient. The cardiology fellow is at home sleeping and/or the closest receiving hospital is about 1 hour away. Now what?
Dr. Arun Nagdev reviews how to do an ultrasound guided pericardiocentesis as part of this new, ongoing series of advanced ultrasound tips for emergency physicians.
A 500-pound morbidly obese male presents to your ED complaining of mild shortness of breath and palpitations. A quick ECG shows SVT with a rate of 160 bpm. His BP is in the 130s systolic, and he is otherwise stable. You know you have a bit of time. Meanwhile, the nurses begin searching for veins to start an IV…
Patients with hypotension or shock have high mortality rates, and traditional physical exam techniques can be misleading. Diagnosis and initial care must be accurate and prompt to optimize patient care. Ultrasound is ideal for the evaluation of critically ill patients in shock, and ACEP guidelines now delineate a new category of ultrasound (US)– “resuscitative.” Bedside US allows for direct visualization of pathology and differentiation of shock states.
The RUSH Protocol was first introduced in 2006 by Weingart SD et al, and later published in 2009. It was designed to be a rapid and easy to perform US protocol (<2 minutes) by most emergency physicians.
How do you perform the RUSH protocol?
It is important to do and teach a thorough physical exam. I cautioned against the overreliance on diagnostic testing in lieu of a physical exam, which can be initially burdensome and prolonged. But perhaps our difficulty with the physical exam is not the exam itself, but the tools that we have at our disposal to perform an exam, rather than the exam itself.