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Do you need to do anything regarding the missing fragment? — ED Management of Dental Trauma in Pediatric Patients April 11, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , add a comment

Case Recap:
Your first patient of the day is a 2-year-old girl who tripped and fell while walking, hitting her mouth on the concrete sidewalk. On your examination, her left central incisor tooth appears to be fractured, with a yellow dot visible inside the tooth. The tooth is nontender and nonmobile. The parents don’t have the other part of the tooth and think it fell onto the street. You start to consider: How do you determine what kind of fracture this is and how serious it is? How does management differ between primary teeth versus permanent teeth, and how can you tell if this is a primary tooth or a permanent tooth? Do you need to do anything regarding the missing fragment?

Case Conclusion:
After seeing the 2-year-old girl with the chipped tooth, you realized that, given her age, this was likely primary dentition, which you confirmed with the parents. You could also tell on examination that the upper right central incisor was more of a milky-white color with a smooth edge, which is also consistent with primary dentition. You decided that the management priorities were to prevent further harm to the developing permanent dentition and to confirm that the tooth fragment was truly lost. You were unable to detect any retained foreign bodies on your physical examination, but you decided to obtain radiographic images to confirm. On facial radiography, there appeared to be a small foreign body inside her right upper lip. You repeated your physical examination and were able to extract the small tooth fragment. The girl’s left central incisor appeared to be an uncomplicated crown fracture. The girl was able to drink without difficulty. You did not have dental panoramic radiography available at your institution, so you instructed the parents to follow up with the girl’s dentist for assessment of her permanent dentition. You recommended a soft diet and to clean the tooth with chlorhexidine until the patient was able to see the dentist.

Did you get it right?

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Should you give antivenom again? — ED Management of North American Snake Envenomations April 11, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , 2comments

Case Recap:
A 26-year-old man arrives to the ED via private vehicle with his arm in a makeshift sling. He reports that his pet rattlesnake bit him on his right index finger about 45 minutes ago. His hand and wrist are swollen. He reports that he has no past medical history besides his 3 previous visits for snakebites. He reports having a “reaction” to the snakebite antidote during his last visit. You wonder whether the patient is immune . . . or should you give antivenom again?

Case Conclusion:
The 26-year-old man with 3 prior rattlesnake bites was at risk for significant morbidity related to this fourth snakebite, including impaired use of his dominant hand. Additionally, his initial lab values showed a developing coagulopathy. You decided to administer 6 vials of antivenom, but you ordered pretreatment with IV corticosteroids and antihistamines. You moved the patient to your resuscitation area for administration of antivenom and admitted him to the ICU for continued monitoring; fortunately, there were no side effects with the initial dose of antivenom.

Did you get it right?

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Quiet morning shift. What do you do? March 8, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , 3comments

You are working a quiet morning shift when a patient is brought in after a motor vehicle crash. The patient is hypotensive, and the FAST exam reveals a pericardial effusion. You know that time is of the essence, so you rapidly assess the options and wonder whether a needle pericardiocentesis is the best option…

Case Conclusion:
The patient was triaged directly to the resuscitation unit and the trauma surgery service was immediately available at bedside. Further review of the FAST exam revealed right ventricular collapse, and the initial blood pressure of 80/40 mm Hg was consistent with pericardial tamponade. Two large-bore peripheral IVs were placed, and an ECG revealed sinus tachycardia. A bedside pericardiocentesis was performed under ultrasound guidance and 25 mL of blood was aspirated. Repeat blood pressure was 100/60 mm Hg. Chest and pelvic x-rays were within normal limits. The patient was then emergently transported to the operating room for further management. A thoracotomy was performed and noted a 2.5-mm rupture of the right anterior ventricular wall. The defect was repaired, and the patient had an uneventful recovery.

Would you have done it different? Tell us how you would have handled this case.

Pediatric Hypertension. How would you intervene? March 8, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , 2comments

Your string of shifts is almost over when you are called into a room for an infant with respiratory distress. You’ve just seen 4 kids with upper respiratory infections, and you feel confident that this is the scenario. The 4-month-old, who was born at 26 weeks’ gestation, shows mild-to-moderate respiratory distress; however, there has been no viral prodrome. A chest x-ray demonstrates moderate pulmonary edema. Back in the room, you note that her blood pressure is 110/80 mm Hg, and you begin to wonder whether that is high for an infant. What additional testing—if any—is necessary? Do you need to intervene? Is there anything specific you should be worried about?

Case Conclusion:
The 4-month-old girl had clear evidence of cardiac failure and hypertension. She was started on an esmolol drip that was slowly titrated, and given a dose of furosemide. Her work of breathing slowly improved, and she was admitted to the intensive care unit, where it was learned that she had had an umbilical arterial line and had a renal artery thrombosis.

Would you have done it different? Tell us how you would have handled this case.

Adolescent Gynecologic Emergencies. What do you do? February 14, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , 1 comment so far

You are then called to the resuscitation room for a 17-year-old girl who was found unresponsive at home. On examination, she is ill-appearing, lethargic, has cool distal extremities, normal heart sounds, and clear lungs, and her abdomen is soft but tender in the left lower quadrant. Her vital signs are: blood pressure, 80/40 mm Hg; heart rate, 130 beats/min; respiratory rate, 25 breaths/min; and oxygen saturation, 95% on room air. What are the immediate first steps in managing this patient? What testing is needed for evaluation and management? What is the appropriate disposition?

Case Conclusion:
The 17-year-old girl presented in shock. IV access was obtained quickly for fluid resuscitation. Bedside abdominal ultrasound revealed free fluid on the suprapubic view. The following laboratory tests were sent: hCG, CBC, complete metabolic panel, type and screen, and blood culture. Her hCG resulted positive, raising concern for ectopic pregnancy. After she was resuscitated, gynecology was consulted and noted an empty uterus and free peritoneal fluid on ultrasound, in spite of a serum hCG of 10,000 mIU/mL. The patient was quickly transferred to the operating room where an ectopic pregnancy complicated by hemoperitoneum was found.

Would you have done it different? Tell us how you would have handled this case.

Life-Threatening Headache. What do you do? February 12, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , 2comments

A 55-year-old man with history of nonsmall cell lung cancer who is on cisplatin presents with an acute headache and lethargy for 6 hours. His vital signs are remarkable for a blood pressure of 210/120 mm Hg, heart rate of 70 beats/min, and a temperature of 36.7°C (98°F). His physical exam reveals a lethargic patient with no localizing neurologic signs and no meningismus. You order a noncontrast CT of the head and consider lowering this patient’s blood pressure, though you wonder how much and how fast it should be reduced…

Case Conclusion:
You recognize that this cancer patient’s change in mental status and severely elevated blood pressure was likely the result of PRES. You obtained a CT of the head, which revealed white-matter changes in the posterior cerebral hemispheres. Utilizing IV nicardipine, you lowered the patient’s MAP by 25% over the first hour. In addition, you temporarily discontinued his chemotherapy medication. He subsequently became more alert and responsive.

Would you have done it different? Tell us how you would have handled this case.

Skiing with no gloves. How do you handle these cold injuries? — Management of Pediatric Hypothermia January 14, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , add a comment

Case Recap:
A 17-year-old boy comes into your ED complaining of numbness and hardening of his fingers. He is a previously healthy foreign exchange student who is staying with a host family. The symptoms started yesterday after he went snow skiing for the first time. He says he wore gloves, but he was having a hard time holding the ski poles, so he took them off midway through the day. On examination, the fingertips on both of his hands are firm to the touch, have a dark discoloration, and are without sensation. The firmness and discoloration extend only to the distal interphalangeal joint in most of the fingers, but to the proximal interphalangeal joint in the middle finger of his left hand. The thumb on his right hand has a sizeable blister. As you step out of the room, you contemplate the next steps.

How do you classify the severity of his cold injuries? Does his thumb need debridement? Should you consult a hand surgeon and/or the burn center? What is the long-term prognosis for his injuries?

Case Conclusion:
The hands of the 17-year-old boy who did not wear gloves while skiing were placed in a warm water bath at 38°C (100.4°F) and gently rewarmed for 30 minutes. The pain did increase in his hand secondary to reperfusion, and all of his tissues softened except for his thumbs. You left his thumb blister intact, as it was not causing any restriction in movement and was filled with clear fluid. You placed aloe vera gel on all of his digits and loosely wrapped his hands in nonadhesive dressing. You gave him instructions to follow up at the burn center for continued outpatient therapy. He did not lose any digits, but the decreased sensation in his left thumb remained.

Intrauterine pregnancy presenting with fever. What do you do? — First Trimester Pregnancy Emergencies in the ED January 12, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , add a comment

Case Recap:
Late in your shift, you evaluate a 26-year-old woman who has a confirmed intrauterine pregnancy at 11 weeks’ gestation and presents for fever, dysuria, and right flank pain. An ultrasound was performed in triage that showed bilateral mild hydronephrosis.

Several questions flood your mind. What do you make of that finding, which antibiotics would be safe for treatment, and can she be managed as an outpatient?

Case Conclusion:
You diagnosed your patient with pyelonephritis. Since there are not good data supporting routine outpatient management of pyelonephritis in pregnancy, you consulted her obstetrician to discuss admission. She received ceftriaxone 1 g IV, was admitted to the hospital, and recovered uneventfully. The hydronephrosis was symmetric and bilateral, which is typical during pregnancy, so no further workup for this was undertaken. She was discharged on cephalexin after sensitivities resulted.

 

Skiing with no gloves. How do you handle these cold injuries? — Management of Pediatric Hypothermia January 7, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , 3comments

A 17-year-old boy comes into your ED complaining of numbness and hardening of his fingers. He is a previously healthy foreign exchange student who is staying with a host family. The symptoms started yesterday after he went snow skiing for the first time. He says he wore gloves, but he was having a hard time holding the ski poles, so he took them off midway through the day. On examination, the fingertips on both of his hands are firm to the touch, have a dark discoloration, and are without sensation. The firmness and discoloration extend only to the distal interphalangeal joint in most of the fingers, but to the proximal interphalangeal joint in the middle finger of his left hand. The thumb on his right hand has a sizeable blister. As you step out of the room, you contemplate the next steps.

How do you classify the severity of his cold injuries? Does his thumb need debridement? Should you consult a hand surgeon and/or the burn center? What is the long-term prognosis for his injuries?

Come back on Jan 14th to see if you got it right!

Intrauterine pregnancy presenting with fever. What do you do? — First Trimester Pregnancy Emergencies in the ED January 5, 2019

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in : What's Your Diagnosis , 18comments

Late in your shift, you evaluate a 26-year-old woman who has a confirmed intrauterine pregnancy at 11 weeks’ gestation and presents for fever, dysuria, and right flank pain. An ultrasound was performed in triage that showed bilateral mild hydronephrosis.

Several questions flood your mind. What do you make of that finding, which antibiotics would be safe for treatment, and can she be managed as an outpatient?

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Last Modified: 10-14-2019
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