Paucis Verbis: Feedback card

By |Categories: ALiEM Cards, Medical Education|

Today’s Paucis Verbis card is a little different. This card focuses on helping you give talking points when giving feedback to a learner on shift. This could be a medical student or resident. Dr. David Thompson (UCSF-San Francisco General Hospital) sent this great card to me and I thought it was too useful NOT to share. It’s handy on shift, which ultimately is the purpose of these Paucis Verbis cards. These are useful especially for senior residents, who are supervising medical students and junior residents. […]

  • Scalp laceration bandage

Trick of the Trade: Bandaging the scalp laceration

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

Scalp lacerations are one of the most common injuries which present to the Emergency Department. Applying a dry bandage over the staples or sutures can be a challenge because the tape just has nothing to adhere to. We reviewed the use of tubular cotton gauze to create a beanie hat, but what should you do if you can’t find any tubular gauze? Ever since I wrote about the beanie hat trick, people in the ED have been using the tubular gauze more and we’re always out of stock whenever I look for it! […]

  • Dizziness

Paucis Verbis: Acute vestibular syndrome and HINTS exam

By |Categories: ALiEM Cards, Neurology|

What is your diagnostic approach to the acutely vertiginous patient? The bottom-line question is: Is the cause peripheral or central in etiology? In this great 2011 systematic review article in CMAJ on Acute Vestibular Syndrome (AVS), the authors review how (un)predictive elements of the history and physical exam are. By definition of AVS, symptoms must be continuous for at least 24 hours and have no focal neurologic deficits. […]

  • Tape IV Sweaty Skin

Trick of the Trade: Securing a peripheral IV on sweaty skin

By |Categories: Tricks of the Trade|

Patients can become extremely diaphoretic with high fevers or if under the influence of PCP or a stimulant. Slippery, sweaty skin can pose a problem when securing peripheral IV’s. Adhesive tapes that are typically designed for securing these IV’s often slip off… immediately followed by the IV falling out. How can you secure the IV … without using staples and sutures?  […]

  • EKG vectors

Paucis Verbis: Lead aVR on EKG

By |Categories: ALiEM Cards, Cardiovascular, ECG|

What lead is the most overlooked on the EKG?  Answer: aVR Lead aVR can provide some unique insight into 5 different conditions: Acute MI Pericarditis Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) and TCA-like overdose AVRT in narrow complex tachycardias Differentiating VT from SVT with aberrancy in wide complex tachycardias by using the Vereckei criteria (possibly better than Brugada criteria) […]

  • Ectopic Pregnancy

Paucis Verbis: Methotrexate for ectopic pregnancy

By |Categories: ALiEM Cards, Ob/Gyn|

Ectopic pregnancies account for as many as 18% of patients who present with first-trimester bleeding or abdominal pain in the Emergency Department. This Paucis Verbis card summarizes the 2008 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines on the use of methotrexate (MTX) for ectopic pregnancies. Not all ectopic pregnancies require operative management. […]

Trick of the Trade: Ultrasound-guided injection for shoulder dislocation

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

Who loves relocating shoulder dislocations as much as I do? I know you do. Often patients undergo procedural sedation in order to achieve adequate pain control and muscle relaxation. Alternatively or adjunctively, you can inject the shoulder joint with an anesthetic. Personally, I have had variable effectiveness with this technique. In cases of inadequate pain control, I always wonder if I was actually in the joint. How can you improve your success rate in injecting into glenohumeral joint injection? […]

  • Overdose

Paucis Verbis: Acetaminophen toxicity

By |Categories: ALiEM Cards, Tox & Medications|

Did you know that the American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that 10% of poison center calls are related to acetaminophen ingestions? That’s a lot. This Paucis Verbis card reviews the basics of acetaminophen toxicity. I included the Rumack Matthew nomogram to help you plot out the patient’s risk for hepatotoxicity. In the Emergency Department, we often screen for acetaminophen toxicity for patients who may have ingested substances as a suicide attempt. We check the serum acetaminophen level 4 hours post-ingestion. Occasionally, we are surprised by a toxic level because in the first 24 hours, because symptoms are can [...]

  • Nebulizer Mask

Trick of the trade: Nebulized naloxone

By |Categories: Tox & Medications, Tricks of the Trade|

Overdoses of long-acting opiates, such as oxycodone and methadone, are challenging to manage, especially if these patients are chronically on opiates. On the one hand, you want to reverse some of the sedative effectives with naloxone so that they aren’t near-apneic and hypoxic. You also want to be able to take a history from them. On the other hand, you don’t want to abruptly withdraw them with naloxone such that they become violent and agitated. It is a fine balancing act. Long-acting opiates present a separate challenging because naloxone wears off fairly quickly in 30-45 minutes. These patients may require repeat [...]