Have you ever accidentally flicked a drop of blood while disposing a straight guidewire into a rectangular sharps bin? The bins just don’t quite fit the wire easily. That’s just an occupational exposure just waiting to happen to yourself.
Having you had trouble seeing a pediatric patient’s tympanic membrane because of impacted cerumen? Scared from that last time you used a rigid curette and caused bleeding in the ear canal? The parents are worried that you hit the brain…
A 41 y/o m presents to your ED after an occupational exposure to 30% hydrofluoric acid (HF). The thumb and index finger of his right hand were affected. Upon visual examination, the site of exposure looks relatively benign but the patient is complaining of extreme pain. Beyond giving opioids, what can you do?
Industrial accidents sometimes involve hot coal tar stuck to a patient’s skin. Coal tar is notoriously challenging to remove once it has cooled and adhered to the skin. The tradition teaching is to apply large quantities of petroleum jelly to the black tar, let it sit for at least 60 minutes, and then diligently try to rub away the tar. Repeat as needed. What if you don’t have any petroleum jelly or petroleum-based products?
Bartholin abscesses are challenging to manage, partly because of Word catheter insertion. Sometimes, the space is not large enough (unable to fit the catheter) or too large (catheter falls out). How else can you “pack” the abscess space?
Why are we still teaching the traditional incision and drainage approach to simple abscess drainage? They require frequent, painful packing changes to ensure persistent drainage of retained pus.