With the advent of commercial intraosseous (IO) needles for vascular access, administering IV medications for patients in extremis has been made much easier. Securing the IO needle to the patient’s tibia, femur, or humerus, however, is a different story. After successful patient resuscitation, these needles often tenuously secured through creative uses of sterile gauze, trimmed paper cups, bag valve masks, and/or just tape. Stabilization of tibial IO lines can be difficult in a sedated, intubated patient. This can be even more difficult in an agitated, moving patient.
One advantage of simulation as an educational tool is the re-creation of cognitive and emotional stresses in caring for patients. Doing this for a high fidelity scenario is relatively easy – add additional patients, make a them loud, combative, or otherwise cantankerous, and add interruptions for good measure. However, when training for procedures in the simulation lab, we practice the procedure in isolation on a “task trainer” without cognitive and emotional stress for context. An off-the-shelf task trainer can do a superb job of teaching the mechanics of performing a procedure, but they lack complexity necessary to train for performing the procedure under stress. (more…)
A 9 year-old patient presents with a headache and fever after swimming, along with subjective neck stiffness. Meningitis was of concern especially because the serum WBC count was 25,000 and other inflammatory markers were elevated. Because the patient’s mother had an unpleasant experience with an epidural during childbirth, she adamantly opposed the idea of a lumbar puncture (LP).
All the years of ultrasound training in residency has paid off. You found the large pericardial effusion in the hypotensive patient who is still alive, but looks sick. You are a star! The only problem was that you never performed a pericardiocentesis in an awake patient. The cardiology fellow is at home sleeping and/or the closest receiving hospital is about 1 hour away. Now what?
Dr. Arun Nagdev reviews how to do an ultrasound guided pericardiocentesis as part of this new, ongoing series of advanced ultrasound tips for emergency physicians.
A 500-pound morbidly obese male presents to your ED complaining of mild shortness of breath and palpitations. A quick ECG shows SVT with a rate of 160 bpm. His BP is in the 130s systolic, and he is otherwise stable. You know you have a bit of time. Meanwhile, the nurses begin searching for veins to start an IV…
A fiberoptic nasopharyngoscope is a handy tool to check patients for suspected foreign bodies (e.g. fishbone stuck in throat) or laryngeal edema. Depending on the diameter of your fiberoptic cable, it may be fairly uncomfortable for the patient despite generous viscous lidocaine instillation through the nares and nebulized lidocaine. Alternatively or additionally, you can make your own lidocaine-oxymetazoline nasal atomizer which works well.
What if the patient is STILL not tolerating the procedure well?
A patient presents with an anterior shoulder dislocation on x-ray. Your ED just received 5 new patients via ambulance and you are trying to prioritize your patients as they come in the door. What can you do for your patient with the shoulder dislocation in the meantime? (more…)