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…)
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.(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.
Chief Complaint: Chest pain
History of Present Illness: An 89-year-old female with a past medical history of coronary artery disease and with recent admission for myocardial infarction that was medically managed, presented with chest pain and shortness of breath. She reports worsening midsternal chest pain that occasionally radiates to her back and right arm since discharge.
Our ALiEMU learning management system, which currently houses the AIR series, Capsules series, and In-Training Exam Prep courses, is ready to slowly open the doors to welcome external authors with high quality content. We are thrilled to welcome a UCSF-sponsored pediatric emergency medicine (EM) point of care ultrasonography (POCUS) series, led by Dr. Margaret Lin. The first course is on the intussusception scan, filled with multiple ultrasound scans showing normal variants and two different types of intussusception.(more…)
How many times have you told a patient “The gel will be cold?” How many times have you watched a patient retract from the transducer because of the cold gel? How about a pediatric patient? Could warm gel improve your rate of clinically successful scans? It seems easy enough to install gel warmers alongside our ultrasound machines. But, should we do this?Read more