You are caring for a patient with an incredibly swollen eye – like a scene out of almost any Rocky film. This patient is likely going to the CT scanner, but regardless of the finding (retrobulbar hematoma, orbital wall fracture, etc.) you still need to evaluate for extraocular muscle entrapment and loss of pupillary response. There’s only one problem: you can’t see the eye. The old standards like getting the patient to retract their lid using paperclips or a cotton swab may help, but sometimes there is just too much swelling, and those techniques are just not enough. Without brute force – and potentially causing more trauma – you likely won’t be able to examine this patient’s eye.
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, a 63-year-old man presents with a painful, warm, and erythematous area of his abdomen.
A 10-year old girl presents with progressively worsening right lower quadrant pain for the last 2 days. She reports having chills and feeling warm. Her review of systems is negative for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or urinary symptoms. Her abdominal exam is unremarkable except for some diffuse, mild tenderness with deep palpation in bilateral lower quadrants. Labs: WBC 9 x 10^9/L. Because of radiation exposure concerns, you order an abdominal ultrasound as the initial imaging modality to evaluate for appendicitis. The radiologist’s reading was: “Unable to visualize the appendix.” Now, what do you do?
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 this case, a 43-year-old man presents to the Emergency Department after a syncopal episode.
Patients with 5th metacarpal fractures (commonly termed “boxer’s fracture”) are frequently treated in the emergency department (ED) with closed reduction and splinting. Obtaining analgesia and a successful closed reduction can often be challenging without procedural sedation. Severe swelling can make a hematoma block difficult, often resulting in inadequate analgesia. An ultrasound-guided ulnar nerve block provides a simple method to facilitate pain relief and allow for improved fracture site manipulation.
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 this case, a 55-year-old man presents with acute-onset chest pain.
As emergency medicine providers become more proficient in using bedside ultrasonography as a diagnostic tool, it can be difficult to remember all of the normal cutoff values. Is it 3 or 5 mm as the cutoff? Thanks to the team at UCSF (Dr. Maria Beylin, Dr. Scott Fischette, and Dr. Nate Teismann) for creating a succinct PV card listing the key numbers to remember. You can download this PV card into your mobile device as a reference guide, or you can even print and attach to each of your ultrasound machines!
PV Card: Normal Values for Ultrasound Measurements
Adapted from [1–4]
- Horrow M. Ultrasound of the extrahepatic bile duct: issues of size. Ultrasound Q. 2010;26(2):67-74. [PubMed]
- Beigel R, Cercek B, Luo H, Siegel R. Noninvasive evaluation of right atrial pressure. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2013;26(9):1033-1042. [PubMed]
- Doubilet P, Benson C, Bourne T, et al. Diagnostic criteria for nonviable pregnancy early in the first trimester. N Engl J Med. 2013;369(15):1443-1451. [PubMed]
- Adhikari S, Zeger W, Thom C, Fields J. Isolated Deep Venous Thrombosis: Implications for 2-Point Compression Ultrasonography of the Lower Extremity. Ann Emerg Med. 2015;66(3):262-266. [PubMed]