Patients with fingertip injuries involving the nail bed typically present to the emergency department and require meticulous repair of the nail bed to prevent long-term cosmetic and functional disability. There are several methods to repair nail beds, typically involving absorbable suture, but maybe there is a faster way with similar cosmetic and functional outcomes.
You are spending a month in rural Kenya, doing an ultrasound teaching course. Your enthusiastic participants have been ultrasounding every chance they get. Unfortunately, this has caused your ultrasound gel supplies to dwindle. It will be a month before a new shipment of gel arrives from Nairobi. This gel will cost about $5 per bottle, which is a considerable expense for the local hospital’s budget.
A healthy 4 year-old boy is brought in by mom for a plastic bead up his nose. The mom states, “The last time the other doctors had to be called, and it took forever. Oh, and I have to pick up his brother from school in 30 minutes. Can you get it out, doc?” The patient is squirming even as you take a quick peek at his nose, but you catch a glimmer of the bead up his right nare.
Trying to suture or staple a scalp laceration is oftentimes a hairy proposition for emergency physicians who repair these types of wounds regularly. Although the “hair apposition technique” method is one option, if one opts for sutures or staples, the most difficult part of the procedure is trying to avoid trapping hair strands within the wound, which may cause wound dehiscense, a foreign body reaction, or a local infection.
A 76-year-old obese male with a history of severe COPD presents to your emergency department (ED) in acute respiratory distress. The patient’s large beard prevents an adequate seal with the NIV (non-invasive ventilation) mask, and the patient continues to desaturate. You are fairly sure that this patient will be a difficult airway and optimizing oxygenation prior to and during your intubation attempt would be ideal. Now what?
Handshaking has been practiced as far back as the 5th century BC and used today as a common way of greeting others. In the hospital setting this occurs multiple times throughout the day. Many alternatives to the handshake have been developed and utilized, but they have failed to replace the handshake as a form of greeting. Nosocomial infections have been identified as a major preventable complication of inpatient care and one of the most important initiatives to reduce this is hand hygiene. The authors of this study propose the fist bump as a safe and effective way to avoid hand-to-hand contact and therefore reduce transmission of infection. 1 (more…)
Early in my career as a Child Life Specialist, I was working with a 4 year old girl who needed her port catheter accessed. She was beginning to panic with rapid breathing and moving around. She was clearly on the verge of screaming at any moment. Her panic made everyone in the room feel anxious. I knew I had to do something, so I got on one knee, looked her in the eye and said, “Just breathe.” Without missing a beat, she leaned in closer to me and said, “I am!”… Touché my little friend.