Central lines come packed with a long introducer needle (pink arrow) to feed the guidewire through AND a long angiocatheter (yellow arrow). Most people cannulate the vein by using the syringe and the introducer needle. What’s the angiocatheter for?
Emergency physicians are constantly challenged with fishing foreign bodies out of various orifices such as ears, as shown here in an earlier Trick of the Trade using a tissue adhesive.
What do you do when an overweight person presents with the cotton portion of a Q-tip lodged in his umbilicus? Skin retractors and direct probing were unsuccessful in removing the cotton.
Have you ever wondered why prescription eyedrops have different color bottle caps? Did you know that the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has a policy to color-code topical ocular medication bottles caps?
Why was this needed?
“The Academy’s policy on color coding of eyedrop drug caps was prompted by reports to the Academy and the National Registry of Drug-Induced Ocular Side Effects of serious adverse events resulting from patient difficulty in distinguishing between various ocular medications. With input from the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Academy’s Committee on Drugs developed a uniform color-coding system.” — AAO policy statement
This totally makes sense. I would think the highest-risk population to mix up medications are those with vision problems. The colors help serve as an safeguard against error.
An IV drug user accidentally breaks off a 25-gauge needle in his/her forearm and presents to your ED for needle foreign body removal. How can you minimize the degree of trauma to the patient? How can you minimize the number of incisions made in order to find and remove this “needle in a haystack”?
The technique for abscess drainage traditionally is incision and drainage (I&D). In August 2012, I wrote about incision and loop drainage (I&LD), which it seems has gained popularity over time with similar outcomes. This technique involves using a sterile vascular loop, which is thin and long enough to form a loose knotted loop. The video below by Dr. Rob Orman reviews the steps. But, what if you don’t have a vascular loop in the ED?
A patient presents with burns to both his arms, chest, and abdomen (anteriorly only) from a flash fire. That’s about 27% total body surface area (TBSA). So how much IV fluid should be given?
Be aware of a phenomenon known as “fluid creep”, where patients actually get WAY too much IV fluids than they should, which can cause delayed complications such as ACS, pulmonary edema, and compartment syndrome. Don’t forget that patients often get a lot of IV fluids in the prehospital setting, which should also be factored in.
General principles of fracture reduction involve axially distracting or pulling on a fracture fragment and pushing the piece back into anatomical alignment. This can be seen in the video below (automatically starts at 2:25 for the actual procedure). What if this approach doesn’t work? The fracture fragment remains immobile despite your best efforts.