Trick of the Trade: Bubble Study for Confirmation of Central Line Placement

By |Categories: Critical Care/ Resus, Tricks of the Trade, Ultrasound|

The safe placement a central venous catheter (CVC) remains an important part of caring for critically ill patients.1 Over 5 million CVCs are placed each year in the United States. It is crucial to confirm that the central line is placed in the correct position in order to rule out potential complications of the procedure (e.g. pneumothorax) and begin administration of life-saving medications. Post-procedure chest radiographs (CXR) are the standard of care for CVC placements above the diaphragm. However, the annual cost to the U.S. healthcare system for CXRs after CVC placement is estimated to be over $500 million.2 Further, in [...]

Influenza Update: IDSA 2018 Guidelines Detailed Review

By |Categories: Guideline Review, Infectious Disease, Public Health|

Symptomatic influenza A and B infections cause worldwide morbidity and mortality every year. Annual vaccination remains the greatest prophylactic measure, but the vaccine is not 100% effective due to mismatch between the circulating and vaccine virus strains. Although most individuals will recover from influenza without incident, some specific patient populations are at high risk for severe complications. The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) recently updated their clinical practice guidelines.1 We review these key updates, including recommendations on who to test, treat, and provide chemoprophylaxis. […]

  • Pneumothorax CT

Significance of a traumatic pneumothorax or hemothorax found only on CT imaging

By |Categories: Expert Peer Reviewed (Clinical), Radiology, Trauma|

A 32 year old woman arrives in your emergency department after being in a motor vehicle collision where she was the seat-belted driver. She undergoes chest CT imaging despite a negative chest x-ray because of her ongoing anterior chest wall diffuse tenderness. You discover a small 10% pneumothorax (PTX), but no other associated thoracic injuries. Should you place a tube thoracostomy (chest tube)? Should this patient be admitted to the hospital? A 2019 Annals of Emergency Medicine paper by the NEXUS Chest research group tackles these questions.1 […]

IDEA Series-JETem Innovation: A Low Cost Escharotomy Simulation Model for Residency Education

By |Categories: IDEA series, Trauma|

The Problem Emergency Medicine (EM) residents are expected to be familiar with and competent in performing a wide number of procedures, including rare ones such as performing an escharotomy in a patient with severe burns. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of readily available simulation models to facilitate practice of this rare yet potentially life-saving skill. […]

SplintER Series: Hip Dislocation | Leg Day #2

By |Categories: Expert Peer Reviewed (Clinical), Orthopedic, SplintER, Trauma|

Welcome to Leg Day #2 of the SplintER Series. Following up with the Leg Day #1’s primer on tibial plateau fractures, another key orthopedic injury of the leg is hip dislocation. A hip dislocation occurs when there is separation of the head of the femur from the acetabulum of the pelvis in either an anterior or posterior direction.1 […]

Algorithm for ED Evaluation and Management of Pediatric UTI

By |Categories: Genitourinary, Infectious Disease, Pediatrics|Tags: |

When should urinary tract infections (UTI) be included in the differential diagnosis for febrile infants and young children? The EM Committee on Quality Transformation in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thoughtfully outlines a clinical algorithm to help guide clinicians towards a standardized, evidence-based approach. Thanks to the expert content team (Drs. Shabnam Jain, Anne Stack, Scott Barron, Pradip Chaudhari, and Kathy Shaw) for sharing this clinical algorithm. […]

  • Gold top 10 winner

Top 10 ALiEM Clinical Posts in 2018

By |Categories: Emergency Medicine|

Happy 2019 from the ALiEM team. We have published so many posts this year that you may have missed a few. Did you at least catch the top 10 ALiEM clinical posts in 2018? These are the most-viewed posts in the past calendar year. From can’t-miss ECGs, to common splint techniques, and new strategies for managing alcohol withdrawal – check these out as you keep celebrating the New Year! […]

2018 ACEP Clinical Policy for Patients with Suspected Non-ST Elevation ACS

By |Categories: Cardiovascular, Guideline Review|

A patient presents to your ED with an all too common complaint – chest pain. After a focused history and physical exam, you have an extremely low clinical suspicion for thoracic aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, pneumothorax, pericarditis/myocarditis, and Boerhaave’s syndrome. When the labs (including a troponin), an ECG, and chest x-ray yield normal results, questions often arise. Can you discharge her with a single troponin if she is low risk? How do you define low risk? And lastly, does she need urgent provocative testing after discharge? […]

IDEA Series Highlights JETem Innovations: A Low Cost Trainer for Neonatal Umbilical Catheterization

By |Categories: IDEA series, Pediatrics|

The Problem Although umbilical catheterization can be a lifesaving technique in the emergent management of a critically ill neonate, it is performed infrequently in the ED.1 Simulation has emerged as a key teaching modality for residents to gain both proficiency and competency with this important procedure.2,3 Commercially available umbilical catheterization models are available, but costly, and often require an expensive investment (over $1,000 for a single trainer).4 This expense may discourage residency programs from acquiring the trainer and offering it to learners. In an effort to minimize this barrier to learning, a team from Kings County Hospital “home built” their own umbilical [...]