UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction

Keywords: Nerve agents, organophosphates, blistering agents (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/26/2007 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction There are a variety of chemicals utilized as WMD and can be categorized as: nerve agent, blistering agent or incapacitating agent: Nerve Agents: (Sarin, VX) cause a parasympathetic toxidrome due to inhibition of Acetylcholinesterase. Antidote is pralidoxime, benzodiazepines and atropine. Blistering Agents: (Mustard Gas) Must be treated like a severe burn patient causing extreme pain and sloughing of the skin. Incapacitating Agents: (BZ) Causes anticholinergic toxidrome, your whole army starts to hallucinate and develop urinary retention. People armed, hallucinating and needing to pee makes for a highly ineffective military force.

Category: Critical Care

Title: Mechanical Ventilation "Knobology" - ventilation

Keywords: mechanical ventilation, pCO2, tidal volume, pH (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/24/2007 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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-Remember that oxgenation is affected by changes in PEEP and/or FiO2 -For changes needed in ventilation (pH and pCO2), you alter the respiratory rate (RR) and/or tidal volume (TV) -Changes in RR produce a greater effect on pH and pCO2 than changes in TV -Focus more on maintaining a pH between 7.3 - 7.4, rather than on returning pCO2 to normal

Category: Vascular

Title: Thrombolytic Therapy for Pulmonary Embolism

Keywords: Pulmonary Embolism, Thrombolytic (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/23/2007 by Rob Rogers, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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The only FDA-approved thrombolytic drug for the treatment of pulmonary embolism is tPA. Current studies (including studies by Jeff Kline-"Dr. PE") are investigating the use of TNKase and other agents. For hemodynamically unstable PE (hypotension, RV dysfunction): tPA- give 100 mg over two hours as a drip (no bolus). Heparin must be stopped during infusion and restarted after the tPA has finished. More on serum markers of RV dysfunction next week...

Category: Cardiology

Title: hyperglycemia and ACS

Keywords: hyperglycemia, ACS, STEMI, coronary, ischemia (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/22/2007 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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--50% of all STEMI patients have elevated admission glucose levels (>140 mg/dL) --hyperglycemia at the time of admission is an independent risk factor for in-hospital and 1-year mortality in patients wih STEMI --hyperglycemia induces reduced microvascular perfusion and has adverse effects on platelet function, fibrinolysis, and coagulation --tight control of glucose levels during and after STEMI is recommended by the ACC/AHA guidelines and appears to lower acute and 1-year mortality rates

Category: Misc

Title: Medical Management Ureteral Stones

Keywords: Ureteral, stone, tamsulosin, management (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/21/2007 by Michael Bond, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Medical Management of Ureteral Stones Tamsulosin (Flomax ) has been shown to help increase the passage of ureteral calculi. According to a metaanalysis compared to patients receiving conservative therapy only, patients receiving conservative therapy plus α -blockers were 44% more likely to spontaneously expel the stones (RR 1.44, 95% CI 1.31 to 1.59, p0.001), and stone expulsion incidence increased significantly (RD 0.28, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.34, p0.001). Mechanism of action: Alpha blockage results in ureteral smooth muscle relaxtion and subsequent inhibition of ureteral spasms and dilatation of the ureteral lumen. Erturhan S. Erbagci A. Yagci F. Celik M. Solakhan M. Sarica K. Comparative evaluation of efficacy of use of tamsulosin and/or tolterodine for medical treatment of distal ureteral stones. [Comparative Study. Journal Article. Randomized Controlled Trial] Urology. 69(4):633-6, 2007 Apr. Parsons JK. Hergan LA. Sakamoto K. Lakin C. Efficacy of alpha-blockers for the treatment of ureteral stones. [Journal Article. Meta-Analysis] Journal of Urology. 177(3):983-7; discussion 987, 2007 Mar.

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Nursemaid's Elbow

Keywords: Nursemaid's Elbow, Radial Head Subluxation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/20/2007 by Sean Fox, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Nursemaid's Elbow PRESENTATION ==> Radial head subluxation is VERY common; most often seen in ages of 1-4 yrs. ==> Arm is held close to the body, elbow flexed and forearm pronated. MANAGEMENT ==> If the history and physical are classic, no X-rays are needed. Obtain x-rays if there is pain to palpation of long bones (rule out Monteggia fx) or the story is not classic. ==> Hold elbow at 90 degrees, then firmly supinate and simultaneously flex the elbow. ==> Place thumb over region of radial head and apply pressure as you supinate. May also need to extend elbow to help screw radial head back in place. POST-REDUCTION ==> Immobilation is not necessary for 1st episode ==> If delayed reduction (>12 hours), place in long arm posterior splint in full supination and elbow @90 degrees

Category: Toxicology

Title: Activated Charcoal

Keywords: Gastrointestinal decontamination, activated charcoal, poisoning (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/19/2007 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Gastrointestinal Decontamination - Activated Charcoal Pharmacist P.f. Touery, in 1831, making a demonstration of the effectiveness of charcoal before the French academy of Medicine, survived after swallowing 15 g of strychnine (10x lethal dose) and an equal amount of charcoal - 3 tablespoons. (That's for you Dr. Rolnick) - Assess the patients' chance of becoming unresponsive or vomiting in relation to the ingestion if known. - Maximal benefit if given within 1 hour of ingestion, drug is likely still in the stomach. - No study has yet to show decrease in morbidity or mortality when empirically given to all ingestions. - Only one study has shown multi-dose activated charcoal to decrease morbidity and mortality and that was with a drug (oleander is like digoxin) that is enterohepatically metabolized. de Silva HA, et al. Multiple-dose activated charcoal for treatment of yellow oleander poisoning: a single-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2003 Jun 7;361(9373):1935-8.

Category: Critical Care

Title: Mechanical Ventilation "Knobology" - respiratory failure

Keywords: mechanical ventilation, assist control, SIMV, pressure support (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/17/2007 by Mike Winters, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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-One of the most common reasons for intubation/mechanical ventilation in the ED is patient fatigue -Essentially, patients are unable to keep up with the work of breathing -Patient work of breathing can be significant in CPAP, SIMV, and Pressure Support modes of mechanical ventilation -Avoid these as initial modes if your patient has respiratory fatigue

Category: Vascular

Title: Aortic Dissection

Keywords: aortic dissection, chest, abdominal, pain, malpractice (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/16/2007 by Rob Rogers, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Most common themes in medical malpractice cases involving missed aortic dissection: -Some combination of chest/back, chest/abdomen, or abdomen/back -Symptoms "above and below" the diaphragm (neck pain and abdominal pain, for e.g.) Sullivan, 2006 Acute Aortic Disease, Elefteriades 2007

Category: Cardiology

Title: treatment of acute pericarditis

Keywords: pericarditis, treatment, colchicine, steroids (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/15/2007 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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-Most patients with acute pericarditis are effectively treated with high-dose aspirin or NSAIDS + colchicine - Aspirin dose: 2-4 gms/day - Colchicine dose: 1-2 mg for first day, then 0.5-1 mg/day for 3 months - The use of steroids in first-time acute pericarditis should be avoided, as it has been found to increase the chances of recurrence

Category: Trauma

Title: Traumatic Ankle Pain

Keywords: Ankle, Maisonneuve, Jones, Fracture (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/14/2007 by Michael Bond, MD (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Traumatic Ankle Pain When examining a patient who presents with Ankle Pain, make sure that you examine/palpate the proximal fibula and the base of the fifth metatarsal. Pain over the proximal fibula will necessitate a full Tibia/Fibula x-ray to rule out a Maisonneuve Fracture [a proximal fracture of fibula resulting from external rotation; injury may occur with medial or posterior malleolus fracture, a ligament rupture, as well as rupture of interosseous membrane. Pain over the base of the 5th metatarsal suggests a Jones Fracture [ involves fx at base of fifth metatarsal at metaphyseal-diaphyseal junction, which typically extends into the 4-5 intermetatarsal facet; is located w/in 1.5 cm distal to tuberosity of 5th metatarsal & should not be confused w/ more common avulsion fx (Dancer s Fracture) of 5th metatarsal styloid]

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Bronchiolitis

Keywords: Bronchiolitis, Bronchodilators, Steroids, Supplemental Oxygen (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/14/2007 by Sean Fox, MD (Emailed: 7/13/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Bronchiolitis The most common lower respiratory infection in infants Diagnosis is based on clinical history and physical. No lab test is useful. Management - Bronchodilators should not be used routinely. They can be continued if the pt has a positive response after a trial. - Corticosteroids have not been found to be of benefit. - Antibiotics should not be used, unless indicated for other reasons. - Ribaviran has not demonstrated any benefit. - Use Supplemental oxygen if the patient is persistently sat'ing <90%. Subcommittee on Diagnosis and Management of Bronchiolitis. Diagnosis and Management of Bronchiolitis. PEDIATRICS Vol. 118 No. 4 October 2006, pp. 1774-1793

Category: Toxicology

Title: One Pill Killers for Children

Keywords: pediatric, poisoning, overdose (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/14/2007 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Emailed: 7/12/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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One Pill Killers for Children Drug Class Mechanism of Action that Kills Sulfonylureas These hypoglycemic agents (ie. Glyburide) also have a long t Opioids Respiratory depression Imidazoline Clonidine and Oxymetazolone (nasal spray) cause bradycardia and respiratory depression Ca Channel Blockers Bradycardia & hypotension, especially diltiazem and verapamil Beta Blockers Extended release preparations are problematic There are some others but these are the most commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals. Remember, children under age 6 will not be able to swallow a pill and the pill itself is choking hazard. Proper poison prevention education for the parents is also needed.

Category: Critical Care

Title: Pearl of the Day - Critical Care

Keywords: PEEP, oxygenation, ventilator (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/14/2007 by Mike Winters, MD (Emailed: 7/10/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Mechanical Ventilation "Knobology" - Oxygenation -FiO2 and PEEP are used to improve oxygenation in the ventilated patient -Immediately following intubation, start with an FiO2 of 100% -Increase PEEP by 2-3 cm H2O every 10-15 minutes to achieve the desired saturation -As you titrate PEEP, have respiratory therapy provide you with plateau pressures (maintain Pplat < 30) Mike

Category: Misc

Title: Test of new education blog/listserv

Keywords: Listserv, mailing list, test (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/10/2007 by Dan Lemkin, MD, MS (Emailed: 7/8/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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I am redesigning the way the educational pearls are sent. You will still receive them via email to the education list. This will not change. What will change, is that a record will be available for review on the website in the residency --> pearls section. Currently you can browse the posts as the come in. In the very near future, you will be able to search by keywords and review several pearls at once. This should serve as a really handy review tool. Please bear with me as I test the email system to ensure it comes across ok. thanks dan

Category: Obstetrics & Gynecology

Title: Imminent Delivery

Keywords: Delivery, Imminent, Dystocia (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/10/2007 by Michael Bond, MD (Emailed: 7/8/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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If you are facing the imminent delivery of a newborn with shoulder dystocia remember the mnemonic HELPERR. * Help. Call for it. * Episiotomy. o Necessary only to make more room if rotation maneuvers are required. * Legs (the McRoberts maneuver) o This procedure involves flexing and abducting the maternal hips, positioning the maternal thighs up onto the maternal abdomen. * Pressure, Suprapubic o The hand of an assistant should be placed suprapubically over the fetal anterior shoulder, applying pressure in a cardiopulmonary resuscitation style with a downward and lateral motion on the posterior aspect of the fetal shoulder. This maneuver should be attempted while continuing downward traction. * Enter maneuvers (internal rotation) o Attempt to manipulate the fetus to rotate the anterior shoulder into an oblique plane and under the maternal symphysis. * Remove o Remove the posterior arm. * Roll the patient. o Rolling the patient on all-fours will often dislodge the shoulder, and the position change allows gravity to aid in the disimpaction of shoulder. Baxley EG, Gobbo RW. Shoulder Dystocia, Am FamPhysician. 2004;69(7):1709-1714.

Category: Airway Management

Title: Airway Pearls

Keywords: Airway, Intubation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/12/2007 by Michael Bond, MD (Emailed: 7/8/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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1. Hyperventilation in the pediatric HI causes an increase in cerebral ischemiaand increases in ICP 2. Cuffed tubes can be used in the pediatric airway 3. The most common cause of bradycardia in pediatric RSI is hypoxia and this is NOT prevented with atropine 4. Patients with an underlining neuromyopathy have an upregulation of neuroreceptors (they actually have more in number) the risk if hyperkalemic cardiac arrest is significant if succynlcholine is administered. 5. During Direct Laryngoscopy; the Mac blade can also be used as a Miller negating changing the blades. 6. Intubation is now a bimanual procedure as the use of External Laryngeal Movement (ELM) significantly increase the intubators view.

Category: Pediatrics


Keywords: SCIWORA, Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiographic Abnormality, MRI, steroids (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/14/2007 by Sean Fox, MD (Emailed: 7/8/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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SCIWORA (Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiographic Abnormality) Children <8yrs old can have their spinal cord stretched up to 5cm before rupture. Their cervical spinal columns are more mobile and held together with less stable ligaments allowing for horizontal movement of the vertebrae. The mobility of the spinal column allows for spontaneous reduction of subluxated vertebrae; therefore, CTs and plain radiographs will often appear normal at the time of ED evaluation. Any child with neurologic deficits or a concerning mechanism of injury deserves an MRI to evaluated for SCIWORA. No studies of the utility of steroids in children with spinal cord injury exist; current recommendations are to reserve methylprednisolone for those children who present with persistent or progressive neurologic deficits.

Category: Toxicology

Title: Digoxin Toxicity

Keywords: digoxin, cardiac glycoside, toxicity (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/14/2007 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Emailed: 7/8/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Digoxin Toxicity Most common finding on ECG when digoxin toxic: PVCs Most classic ECG in digoxin toxicity: PAT with block Pathognomonic finding (RARE): Bidirectional ventricular tachycardia Easy formula for administration of digoxin specific Fab (Digibind?? or DigiFab?). Remember to round up even if its 2.3 vials, give 3. [(Dig Serum Concentration(ng/mL)) x wt(kg)] / 100 = # vials

Category: Cardiology

Title: Calcium Affect on ECG

Keywords: ECG, Calcium, hypercalcemia, hypocalcemia (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/14/2007 by Amal Mattu, MD (Emailed: 7/8/2007) (Updated: 7/11/2020)
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Calcium's main effect on the ECG appears to be on the duration of the ST segment, such that: 1. Hypercalcemia shortens the ST segment, producing also a short QTc. 2. Hypocalcemia prolongs the ST segment, producing also a long QTc. As an aside, there are only three conditions in which a short QTc is typically noted: hypercalcemia, digitalis toxicity, and a recently described syndrome that causes sudden death--"the short QT syndrome" (in which the QTc may be < 300ms...that's REALLY short!). As another aside, there are only two conditions that prolong the QTc via prolongation of the ST segment--hypocalcemia and hypothermia.