The Problem: A patient is rolled in to your ED by EMS with extremity trauma. You’re rightfully concerned about possible vascular injury to an upper or lower extremity, but you can’t palpate a dorsalis pedis (DP) or posterior tibialis (PT) pulse! You spend minutes, whisking the doppler probe, attempting to hear a waveform in a busy ED. Unfortunately you can’t seem to hear the “whoosh,” making accurate it nearly impossible for you to measure ankle-brachial indices (ABI). 1–3
So much attention is appropriately focused on the anatomy and technique for intraosseous needle placement. In contrast, very little attention is paid to securing the needle. Often this involves a make-shift setup which involves gauze, wraps, and/or tape. This becomes especially important in the prehospital setting where these can be easily dislodged. The following trick stems from a Twitter discussion in 2015 amongst prehospital providers, lamenting this fact.
Simulation equipment can be rather expensive and wanting to practice fluid and drug administration does not always warrant the purchase of specialized equipment. Luckily, a simple administration trainer can be made in less than 10 minutes and only costs a few dollars (or even nothing). This is an ideal option for resuscitation training if you are already using a manikin without IV arms or an IO option. Learners can practice preparing infusions and administering fluid or preparing an injection and administering it via the syringe port. This trainer can have multiple IV cannulas in one lid and can even include an intraosseous cannula, such as an EZ-IO.
Tranexamic acid (TXA) can be used in a wide variety of settings in the Emergency Department for its hemostatic effects. Topical applications of TXA are commonly utilized to control minor bleeding from epistaxis, lacerations, or dental extractions.1–3 More in-depth reviews of topical TXA can be found on R.E.B.E.L EM4 and The Skeptics Guide to Emergency Medicine.5
Anterior dislocation of the mandible is a clinical scenario that is not infrequently encountered by the ED provider and requires prompt intervention. The classic technique for reduction of the mandible requires the provider to place his/her thumbs or fingers into the patient’s mouth along the lower molars and apply force inferiorly and posteriorly. However, this technique is fraught with difficulties and inefficiencies including the following:
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.
Your triage nurse complains of numerous patients in the waiting room complaining of nausea, retching, and emesis. They ask you “why can’t we have an antiemetic on hand in triage?” Turns out they might have had an effective antiemetic on hand, or rather in their scrub pocket the entire time. They just didn’t know about it yet.