Paucis Verbis card: Pediatric blunt head injury

By |Categories: ALiEM Cards, Pediatrics, Trauma|

In this installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series, the topic is Pediatric Blunt Head Trauma. This a particularly relevant topic given the recent press and discussions about CT irradiation and the cancer risk especially in pediatric patients. It’s also relevant since Dr. Nate Kuppermann (UC Davis) just gave Grand Rounds at our UCSF-SFGH EM residency program. He first-authored a landmark 2009 Lancet article on minor head injury in kids. […]

  • Dermabond Tape

Trick of the Trade: Preventing tissue adhesive seepage

By |Categories: Tricks of the Trade|Tags: |

As great as tissue adhesives are in wound closure, they come with some risk. For instance, liquid adhesives, such as Dermabond, can "run" and contact undesired areas such as eyelid margins. Careful application of tissue adhesives is critical. How can you minimize the amount of seepage of tissue adhesive to undesired areas? Trick of the Trade Create an impermeable tape barrier I already mentioned this in an earlier post in July, but I now have more experience with this technique. Here are some recent photos of this trick in action. Cut out a circle from a transparent tape adhesive. In [...]

  • IJ ultrasound

Article review: Long axis view for IJ line placement

By |Categories: Ultrasound|Tags: |

As bedside ultrasonography is becoming a staple in central line placement (especially of internal jugular lines), emergency physicians now can minimize complications, such as carotid artery puncture and a pneumothorax. Traditionally, the US probe is positioned along the short-axis of the IJ during the procedure (see right). […]

Trick of the trade: Irrigating scalp lacerations

By |Categories: Tricks of the Trade|Tags: |

Thanks to my new-found Emergency Medicine friend in Turkey, Dr. John Fowler has some useful tips about scalp lacerations. Often patients with scalp lacerations have clotted blood in their hair. While we can irrigate the wound itself (and unavoidably soaking the patient in cold irrigation fluid), a lot of blood remains stuck in their hair. It would be nice if we could completely wash out the blood. This would further allows us to detect occult scalp lacerations. […]

  • Kerato conjunctivitis

Paucis verbis card: The Red Eye

By |Categories: ALiEM Cards, Ophthalmology|

Here is another installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series on the topic of The Red Eye from EM Clinics of North America. Here are some images: Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (note subtle white precipitates over pupil) Bacterial conjunctivitis (note injection along inferior fornix) Episcleritis Scleritis (note bluish hue of deep scleral vessels) Acute angle closure glaucoma (note corneal edema) PV Card: The Red Eye Go to the ALiEM Cards site for more resources.

Trick of the Trade: Modified hair apposition technique

By |Categories: Trauma, Tricks of the Trade|Tags: |

I got a nice email from Dr. John Fowler from Turkey who recently published a modified version of the Hair Apposition Technique (HAT) trick in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2009. Read more about the traditional HAT trick. The HAT trick allows for scalp laceration closure by using scalp hair and tissue adhesive glue. Contraindications to this technique for wound closure include hair strands less than 3 cm, because it is difficult to manually manipulate short hair. […]

Paucis Verbis card: Supratherapeutic INR

By |Categories: ALiEM Cards, Heme-Oncology, Tox & Medications|

What do you do in these cases? A man on coumadin for atrial fibrillation arrives because he has increased bruising on his skin. He is otherwise asymptomatic. He was told to come to the ED because of a lab result showing INR = 6. A woman on coumadin for atrial fibrillation arrives because of melena and hematemesis. She looks extremely sheet-white pale. Her vital signs are surprising normal. Stat labs show a hematocrit of 15 and an INR value that the lab is “unable to calculate” because it is so high. Updated on 6/1/13: Old PV card revised to reflect [...]

  • Iphone Ped Fixation

Trick of the Trade: Pediatric Distractors

By |Categories: Pediatrics, Tricks of the Trade|

Remember back in the day when we made simple toys for pediatric patients to focus on during the physical exam? Remember the inflated medical glove +/- a face drawn on it? I just encountered a FREE iPhone application (Eye Handbook), which has a lot of useful features. I currently only use the Pediatric Fixation animations. They can be found under the “Testing” section. Kids (and often adults too!) become mesmerized and distracted by the cartoon animations. […]

  • Fingernail Lac

Trick of the Trade: Finger nailbed laceration repair

By |Categories: Orthopedic, Tricks of the Trade|Tags: |

Over the years, I have been frustrated by how inelegant finger nailbed closure is. Nailbed lacerations are often sustained by a major crush injury, resulting in a stellate and irregular laceration pattern. This typically also requires the crushed fingernail to be removed. Cosmesis is never ideal because pieces of the nailbed are often missing, as seen in the photo above. Occasionally, nailbed lacerations are caused by a cutting rather than a crush mechanism. In these cases, I use a different technique. I leave the fingernail on. In fact, I use the fingernail to help reapproximate the nailbed edges. […]