Trick of the Trade: External jugular tourniquet

Paitents can be a challenge when trying to obtain peripheral IV access. The vein may be collapsed from dehydration or scarred because of IV drug use or repeated cannulation. Before thinking about an ultrasound-guided deep vein IV or a central line, take a look at the external jugular (EJ) vein.

There are, however, a few problems that exist when trying to cannulate this site:
  • There is no tourniquet for the neck.
  • To distend the vein, you often need to put the patient in Trendelenburg, which may be uncomfortable or intolerable for some
By |2016-11-11T11:17:20-08:00Mar 5, 2013|Tricks of the Trade|

Trick of Trade: Umbilical foreign body removal

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.

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By |2016-11-11T18:40:59-08:00Feb 19, 2013|Tricks of the Trade|

Trick of the Trade: Recognizing eyedrop bottles by color

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.

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By |2016-11-11T18:41:10-08:00Feb 12, 2013|Ophthalmology, Tricks of the Trade|

Trick of Trade: Incision and loop drainage using tourniquet

AbscessPacking

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?

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By |2019-01-28T22:07:44-08:00Jan 22, 2013|Tricks of the Trade|

Trick of Trade: Rule of 10’s for burn fluid resuscitation

 

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.

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By |2019-01-28T22:08:28-08:00Jan 15, 2013|Trauma, Tricks of the Trade|