Human Trafficking in the ED – What you need to know

By |Categories: Emergency Medicine, Expert Peer Review (Non-Clinical), Psychiatry|

Human trafficking is a devastating crime, where a human being’s labor is exploited through force, fraud, or coercion, for someone else’s profit (1). For survivors, connecting to support in the community can be incredibly difficult, and may come at the expense of their personal safety (1, 2). The emergency department (ED) is a rare exception, with some studies estimating that over 60% of trafficked persons will present at some point during their exploitation to the ED (3). Unfortunately, less than 5% of emergency physicians report feeling confident in their ability to identify a trafficked person, citing confusion around patient characteristics [+]

Beyond the Abstract: Systematic Online Academic Resource Review #2: Endocrine, Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders

By |Categories: Emergency Medicine|

Planning to write the next great FOAM post on hyperkalemia, but not sure what’s already been done? Or maybe a less popular topic, that you hope has minimal coverage? Or are you a resident, medical student, or even a curious attending searching for the latest, best FOAM regarding a specific topic? If so, then we have great news for these answers are here in the recently published second Systematic Online Academic Resource (SOAR) Topic Review.1 This series aims to identify and evaluate online education resources by topic. The inaugural entry has already revealed the FOAM landscape related to the renal [+]

  • trick DIY nasal snot aspirator

Trick of the Trade: DIY Nasal Snot Aspirator

By |Categories: HEENT, Pediatrics, Tricks of the Trade|

Nasal congestion is a common symptom of upper respiratory tract infections, such as bronchiolitis, in newborns and infants. Because newborns are obligate nose breathers, any congestion presents a challenge during feeding and sleeping. These infants become frustrated when they cannot breathe while feeding and tend to have disturbed sleep when their nasal passages are occluded. This often leads to dehydration and irritability. Although the infant bulb syringe (above) can often alleviate the congestion, other commercial products may be able to more forcefully clean out the nasal mucus (e.g., NoseFrida, Bubzi Nasal Aspirator). Trick of the Trade: DIY Nasal Snot Aspirator In [+]

SAEM Clinical Image Series: Pediatric Rash

By |Categories: Dermatology, Pediatrics, SAEM Clinical Images|

A 17-month-old girl with a history of eczema presents to the pediatric emergency department for evaluation of a rash. The rash is different from her usual eczema, developed three days prior to presentation, and is described as red with yellow crusting. Her mother also noticed blistering in her groin and under her axilla. She has associated fussiness and decreased feeding, but no fever.     Vitals: T 37.7°C; HR 161; BP 115/75; RR 24; O2 sat 100% on room air General: Fussy but consolable Eyes: No conjunctival erythema or discharge Mouth: Yellow crusting and fissuring surrounding [+]

Oral Antivirals for Treatment of Mild-Moderate COVID-19 Infection

By |Categories: EM Pharmacy Pearls, Infectious Disease, Tox & Medications|

Background Two new oral agents were given Emergency Use Authorization to be used in patients with mild-moderate COVID-19 at high risk of progression to severe infection, molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) [1,2]. Prior to this authorization, most evidence-based COVID therapies were parenteral and required significant healthcare resources to coordinate and administer. Comparison Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir [3] Molnupiravir [4] Mechanism Protease inhibitor leadings to interruption of viral replication Ritonavir has no role in treating COVID-19, it is only included to boost levels of nirmatrelvir via CYP3A4 inhibition Increased frequency of RNA mutations and impaired replication [5] Efficacy vs Placebo (Hospitalization or Death) 0.8% vs [+]

SAEM Clinical Image Series: Painful Blue Arm

By |Categories: Cardiovascular, SAEM Clinical Images|

A 68-year-old male with a past medical history of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and recent ileostomy secondary to small bowel obstruction presented for acute left arm swelling, discoloration, and numbness since last night. He endorses sudden onset of painful edema with the development of purple discoloration. He denies trauma, history of similar problems, chest pain, or shortness of breath. He endorses difficulty flexing at the elbow secondary to the amount of swelling, pain, and numbness to the arm. The patient had a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line placed in the left upper extremity two weeks ago.   [+]

Balanced Fluids in Diabetic Ketoacidosis

By |Categories: EM Pharmacy Pearls, Endocrine-Metabolic, Tox & Medications|

Background Many guidelines and treatment algorithms for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) recommend sodium chloride 0.9% as the replacement fluid of choice, though alternative fluids may be a better option [1-4]. Randomized trials, in adult and pediatric patients, demonstrate faster resolution of DKA when using balanced solutions (e.g., PlasmaLyte-A, lactated Ringer's) compared to sodium chloride [5-7]. Dr. Josh Farkas provides further review of this topic in 3 excellent and detailed EMCrit posts [8-10]. Evidence A phase-2 study published in 2021, SCOPE-DKA, randomized 93 patients with severe DKA (median venous pH 7.0) to receive PlasmaLyte-148 (PlasmaLyte-A) or sodium chloride 0.9% [11]. During the first [+]

SAEM Clinical Image Series: Inguinal Masses

By |Categories: Genitourinary, SAEM Clinical Images|

A 50-year-old female with a past medical history of gastritis and marijuana abuse presents to the Emergency Department (ED) with epigastric abdominal pain for one day. The patient reports she was seen in the ED one month prior for similar symptoms and had an ultrasound of the gallbladder, which was negative. She was discharged home with prescriptions for Pepcid, Carafate, and Zofran. Once discharged home she did not experience any symptoms until the day prior to presenting again to the ED. The patient denies nausea, vomiting, back pain, dysuria, hematuria, subjective fevers, chills, diarrhea, vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, chest [+]

SAEM Clinical Image Series: I Have a Stomachache

By |Categories: Gastrointestinal, Pediatrics, SAEM Clinical Images|

An 18-year-old male with no significant past medical history presents with diffuse abdominal pain and multiple episodes of non-bloody, non-bilious vomiting for three days. The patient was seen yesterday at another facility and states he was diagnosed with gastritis and discharged with Zofran, which provided no relief. He denies fever, diarrhea, or urinary symptoms and states his last bowel movement was two days ago and was consistent with his usual bowel movements.     Vitals: T 97.7ºF; HR 138; BP 122/98; RR 18; O2 sat 99% on RA General: Thin male, appears uncomfortable Abdominal: Mild distention [+]

SAEM Clinical Image Series: Vomiting in the Pediatric Patient

By |Categories: Gastrointestinal, Pediatrics, SAEM Clinical Images|

A 2-year-old boy with a past medical history of Hirschsprung disease presents to the emergency department (ED) with vomiting, abdominal distension, and inability to tolerate PO for one day. His parents had been instructed by their pediatric surgeon to perform rectal irrigations 2-3 times daily for the few days prior to presentation.   Vital signs within normal limits. General: Appears lethargic HEENT: Oral mucosa dry Abdomen: Moderately distended; decreased bowel sounds Skin: Normal turgor Non-contributory The differential diagnosis for pediatric patients presenting with vomiting is broad and includes but is not limited to gastritis, [+]

Shuhan He, MD
ALiEM Senior Systems Engineer;
Director of Growth, Strategic Alliance Initiative, Center for Innovation and Digital Health
Massachusetts General Hospital;
Chief Scientific Officer,
Shuhan He, MD