UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Orthopedics

Title: Bone tumors in children

Keywords: cancer, pediatrics (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/25/2019 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 7/16/2019)
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Bone tumors can present as MSK pain!

Pain may be activity related initially (can lead to misdiagnosis)

Over time will progress to rest pain and night pain

 

1) Primary osteosarcoma - most common primary malignant bone tumor

Adolescents, male > female

70% occur about the knee (also in hip/pelvis and upper arm)

pain, swelling, tenderness to palpation

Consider in the presentation of non traumatic knee pain!

 

2) Ewing's sarcoma

Peak incidence ages 10-20, male > female

pain, swelling, tendernes to palpation

Elevated temps and ESR

Consider in the differential of osteomyelitis!!

Variable location - lusually the extremities but also pelvis, scapula, ribs

 

 


Presentation:

- Prepubertal females are especially susceptible to urethral prolapse

- Can present incidentally is a painless mass found during bathing or on exam

- More commonly presents as urogenital bleeding, dysuria, or (rarely) urinary retention

 

Evaluation:

- Appears as a partial or circumferential "donut" of bright red, often friable prolapsed mucosa

- Typically occurs in the setting of UTI, cough, or constipation

- Need to rule out complications: UTI, urethral necrosis, and urinary retention

Treatment:

- Medical management start with sitz baths twice daily and addressing causative factors (treatment constipation, UTI, etc.)

- Can add either topical corticosteroid (hydrocortisone) or estrogen (Estrace or Premarin 0.01% twice daily)

- Urology follow-up necessary as many will require surgical resection of prolapsed mucosa


Category: Critical Care

Title: Alarms responsible for alarm fatigue

Keywords: Alarm fatigue (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/21/2019 by Robert Brown, MD (Updated: 7/16/2019)
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Takeaways

In a study of alarms from 77 monitored ICU beds over the course of a month at the University of California, San Francisco, false alarms were common. Accellerated Ventircular Rhythms (AVRs) made up roughly one third of the alarms, and of the more than 4,361 AVRs, 94.9% were false while the remaining 5.1% did not result in a clinical action.

While this study had a majority of patients in the Med/Surg ICUs, a minority were from the cardiac and neurologic ICUs giving it some broad applicability. This study adds to the literature indicating there are subsets of alarms which may not be necessary or which may require adjustment to increase specificity.

Suba S, Sandoval CS, Zegre-Hemsey J, et al. Contribution of Electrocardiographic Accelerated Ventricular Rhythm Alarms to Alarm Fatigue. American Journal of Critical Care. 2019; 28(3):222-229

 

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: Phalanx Fractures

Keywords: Rotation, Fracture, Phalanx (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/18/2019 by Michael Bond, MD
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Remember to evaluate for any rotational deformity when evaluating patients with a phalanx fracture.

The easiest way to do this is to have the patient flex all their fingers. They should all point to the scaphoid. If a finger deviates or overlaps another finger there is a rotational deformity.  One should also make sure that all the nailbeds align.

This video shows how to evaluate for rotation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dhp25UVn7RQ

Even if the finger is reduced otherwise, persistent rotational deformities should be referred to a hand surgeon for consideration of corrective surgery.

 


Category: Pediatrics

Title: Unintentional pediatric marijuana exposures

Keywords: ingestion, drug overdose, marijuana (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/17/2019 by Jenny Guyther, MD
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Washington state was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use.  Toxicology call center data was collected on patient's 9 years old and younger with marijuana exposure between July 2010 and July 2016.  There were 161 cases during that time frame and of those 130 occurred after the legalization of recreational marijuana (over a 2.5 year period).  The median age range was 2 years old.  There were increasing cases noted after recreational marijuana was legalized and again after marijuana shops became legal.

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Drug-induced hypoglycemia

Keywords: Hypoglycemia, Drug induced (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/16/2019 by Kathy Prybys, DO
Click here to contact Kathy Prybys, DO

Drug-induced hypoglycemia is an important cause of hypoglycemia which should be considered in any patient presenting with altered mental status. In one study, drug-induced hypoglycemia represented 23% of all hospital admissions attributed to adverse drug events. Risk factors for developing hypoglycemia include older age, renal or hepatic insufficiency, concurrent use of insulin or sulfonylureas, infection, ethanol use, or severe comorbidities. The most commonly cited drugs associated with hypoglycemia include:

  • Quinolones
  • Sulfonylureas* either alone or with a potentiating drug 
  • Insulin
  • Pentamidine
  • Quinine
  • B-blockers
  • ACE Inhibitors
  • Tramadol**

*In Glipizide users, there was 2-3 fold higher odds of hypoglycemia with concurrent use of sulfamethoxale-trimethoprim, fluconazole, and levofloxacin compared with patients using Cephalexin.

**Tramadol potentially induces hypoglycemia by effects on hepatic gluconeogenesis and increasing insulin release and peripheral utlizilation. Was seen in elderly at initiation of therapy within first 30 days.

BOTTOM LINE:

Take care in prescribing drugs known to increase risk of hypoglycemia in elderly patients, with comorbidities, or those already taking medications associated with hypoglycemia. 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Capillary Refill vs. Lactate in Septic Shock

Keywords: capillary refill, lactate, sepsis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/14/2019 by Mark Sutherland
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  • ANDROMEDA-SHOCK compared using capillary refill time versus lactate clearance as a guide for resuscitation in septic shock patients
  • The cap refill group showed better SOFA scores at 72 hours, and a trend to lower mortality
  • In the study, cap refill was performed by pressing a glass microscope slide to the ventral surface of the second finger distal phalanx, holding until blanched for 10 seconds, and releasing.  Cap refill > 3 seconds was considered abnormal.

 

Bottom Line: Consider using capillary refill as an alternate (or complimentary) endpoint to lactate clearance when resuscitating your septic shock patients.

 

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: Treat hyperthermia with a TACO

Keywords: Hyperthermia, cold water immersion (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/11/2019 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 7/16/2019)
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The TACO method (tarp assisted cooling with oscillation)

Cold water immersion (CWI) remains the standard for cooling in exercise induced hyperthermia

A low cost alternative is modified cold water immersion.

Sometimes, monetary reasons and location venue prevent the feasibility of CWI

Benefits: fast, cheap, portable

Portable – Allows for on site location at area of collapse

Cheap: Equipment required – 3 providers, 1 tarp, 20 gallons of water and 10 gallons of ice

Fast: Average time to set up – 3.4 minutes

The TACO method – fast effective reduction in core temperatures

              May be up to 75% as effective as CWI

             

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxjP0-_RIdc

 

 

 

 

 

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Management of Coagulopathy in Acute Liver Failure

  • Patients with acute liver failure (ALF) frequently require rapid resuscitation to prevent decompensation and multiorgan failure.
  • The most common cause of ALF remains drug-induced injury (i.e., acetaminophen).
  • Though coagulopathy is common in patients with ALF, the prophylactic administration of blood products has not been shown to have clinical benefit.
  • The routine correction of coagulation abnormalities is not currently recommended, unless the patient undergoes a major procedure (e.g., liver transplant).

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Category: Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Title: Managing Patients on Continuous Home Infusion Medications

Keywords: Milrinone, dobutamine, insulin, pumps (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/4/2019 by Ashley Martinelli (Updated: 7/16/2019)
Click here to contact Ashley Martinelli

Continuous home infusion therapies of medications such as insulin, milrinone, dobutamine, and pulmonary hypertension medication such as treprostinil are becoming more common.  As a result, you may see these patients present to the emergency room and need to know the basics for checking the pump.

  • Is the pump working correctly?
    • Check the infusion lines for leaks or holes
    • Is the screen on, and does it show the correct dose information
  • How long will the current battery last?
  • How long will the current infusion bag last or expire?
    • Also consider the half-life of the medication. Infusions for pulmonary hypertension have a very short half-life and cannot be stopped abruptly.
  • Is the medication carried by the hospital or will the patient need to provide their own medication for pump refills?
  • What is the current dose?
    • Look for doses in weight based increments (i.e. mcg/kg/min, or ng/kg/min)
    • Insulin may have a basal rate and a bolus dose.
  • What is the patient's "dosing weight"?
    • Ensure that the weight used to program the pump is the same weight used to enter a continuation order in the electronic medical record. This may be different from their current weight and can lead to dose changes if not done properly.
  • What is the current bag concentration?

These questions are very important to determine if you will need to order a replacement infusion bag and run it on a hospital infusion pump, or if the patient can safely remain on their pump during the initial medical evaluation. 

 


Category: Toxicology

Title: pediatric guanfacine exposure

Keywords: guanfacine, ADHD, pediatric, toxicity (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/3/2019 by Hong Kim, MD, MPH (Updated: 7/16/2019)
Click here to contact Hong Kim, MD, MPH

 

Guanfacine is a presynaptic alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonist (similar to clonidine) that is FDA approved to treat ADHD in pediatric patients 6 years of age and older. A recently published study characterized the pediatric exposure to guanfacine between 2000 and 2016.   

  • 10927 single exposures to guanfacine were identified.
  • Guanfacine exposure increased in all age group starting 2009
  • Highest exposure rate was in 6-12 years old population

Most frequently reported clinical effect (n=10927)

  • Drowsiness (n=4262; 39.0%)
  • Bradycardia (n=1696; 15.5%)
  • Hypotension (n=1127; 10.3%)
  • Dizziness (n=279; 2.6%)
  • Hypertension (n=199; 1.8%)

Severe clinical effects (n=10927)

  • Respiratory depression (n=47; 0.43%)
  • Coma (n=24; 0.22%)
  • Respiratory arrest (n=5; 0.05%)
  • Cardiac arrest (n=1; 0.01%)

Duration of clinical effect

  • 8 to 24 hours: > 80%

Conclusion

  • Severe toxicity (respiratory depression/arrest and cardiac arrest) is rare with unintentional guanfacine exposure.
  • If symptomatic, majority of the patients were asymptomatic within 24 hours.

Category: Critical Care

Title: Mechanical Ventilation Strategies in Paralyzed or Sedated Patients

Keywords: Mechanical Ventilation, Paralytics (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/27/2019 by Mark Sutherland (Updated: 7/16/2019)
Click here to contact Mark Sutherland

Many, if not nearly all, of our intubated patients in the ED have altered mental status, a potential to clinically worsen, or a requirement for medications that would alter their respiratory status (e.g. propofol, opioids, paralytics).  It is imperative to place these patients on appropriate ventilator modes to avoid apnea when their respiratory status changes.

 

  • Spontaneous modes (see partial list below) REQUIRE patients to initiate breaths on their own.  No ventilation occurs in a true spontaneous mode without patient effort.  
  • Patients who have alterations in respiratory drive, neuromuscular function, or are receiving paralytics should NOT be placed on:
    • Pressure Support (PSV),
    • Volume Support (VSV),
    • CPAP/BiPAP/APAP,
    • Pressure-Assisted Ventilation (PAV) / Proportional Pressure Support (PPS),
    • or other spontaneous modes
  • Our hypothermia order set includes a prn paralytic (cisatracurium infusion, vecuronium bolus) to combat shivering.  Discontinue these medications for patients on spontaneous modes.
  • Our Servo-I ventilators automatically backup to a control mode (VS-->VC, PS-->PC) after a period of apnea (default is anywhere from 15-45 seconds, but it depends on how the RT has set the ventilator) as a safety mechanism, but this could still cause dangerous hypoxia or hypercapnea in severely ill patients.
  • If the mechanics of pressure support are desired in patients at risk of apnea, there are other methods to achieve this (PC, descending flow VC, SIMV VC+PS with a low rate, and others).
  • Always consult your RT when changing ventilator settings, and be sure to take vent alarms seriously.

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Attachments

Apnea_Alarm.JPG (16 Kb)


Category: Neurology

Title: Cervical Spine Disease

Keywords: MRI, neuro exam, bladder, gait (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/24/2019 by Danya Khoujah, MBBS (Updated: 7/16/2019)
Click here to contact Danya Khoujah, MBBS

Cervical spondylotic disease is the most common cause of myelopathy in patients over the age of 55 years and accounts for 25% of all hospitalizations for spastic quadriparesis.
It can be confused with lumbar spine disease as the most common presentation is a slowly progressive spastic gait dysfunction with 15-20% presenting with bladder disturbance.

Take Home Message: Don’t rush to localizing a lesion to the lumbar spine without performing a thorough neuro exam. 

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Takeaways

Gallstones account for 35-40% of cases of pancreatitis and the risk increases with diminishing stone size. Bile reflux into the pancreatic duct can form stones there, beyond where they can be visualized by ultrasound. Biliary colic may precede the pancreatitis, but not necessarily. The pain typically reaches maximum intensity quickly but can remain for days.

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) > 3x normal is highly suggestive of biliary pancreatitis.

Abdominal ultrasound is not sensitive to common bile duct stones but may find dilation.

In the absence of cholangitis, endoscopic ultrasound or MRCP are sensitive tests and permit intervention. Patients who recover are much more likely to develop cholangitis, therefore cholecystectomy is indicated in patients after they recover from gallstone pancreatitis.

Bottom Line: a patient presenting with days of abdominal pain but an absence of gallstones or cholangitis may still suffer from gallstone pancreatitis which requires further intervention, including cholecystectomy.

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Measles complications in hospitalized patients

Keywords: Measles, outbreak, complications (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/19/2019 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 7/16/2019)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

Measles outbreaks have been reported all over the globe, with the incidence increasing due to low immunization rates.  Italy experienced 5000 cases in 2017. This study was a retrospective multicenter observational study of children less than 18 years hospitalized for clinically and laboratory confirmed measles over a year and a half period from 2016-2017.

There were 263 cases of measles that required hospitalization during this time and 82% developed a complication with 7% having a severe clinical outcome defined by a permanent organ damage need for ICU care or death. A CRP value of greater than 2 mg/dL was associated with a 2-4 fold increased risk of developing complications. 23% developed pneumonia and 9.6% developed respiratory failure.  Hematologic involvement was seen in 48% of patients.  1.2% of hospitalized patients died.

Bottom line: Consider CRP, lipase and CBC at a minimum in your patients with suspected measles who require hospitalization.

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Single use laundry pods are readily available in many homes. Due to their bright colors, they have been mistaken for edible products (e.g. candy) by children.

A recent study reviewed 4652 laundry pod exposures from United Kingdom.

95.4% involved children aged < 5 years via oral route (89.7%).

  • Asymptomatic: 1738 (37.4%)
  • Minor symptoms: 2728 (58.6%)
  • Moderate symptoms: 107 (2.3%)
  • Severe symptoms: 19 (0.4%)
  • Death: 1 

 

Common symptoms in moderate/severe symptom groups, including fatality (n=127)

  • Vomiting: 75
  • Stridor: 34
  • CNS depression: 22
  • Keratitis/corneal damage: 21
  • Coughing: 18
  • Conjunctivitis: 13
  • Hypersalivation: 12
  • Foaming from the mouth: 11
  • Hypoxemia: 11

 

Conclusion

  • The majority of the laundry pod exposure occurs via oral route and result in no or minor symptoms
  • Although rare, respiratory, GI and ocular effect can occur after laundry pod exposure.

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Mechanical Ventilation in the Obese Critically Ill

  • Rates of obesity have steadily risen over the past three decades.  In fact, the prevalance of obesity in the ICU is now estimated at 20%.
  • Obesity affects numerous organ systems and impacts the resuscitation and management of these patients.
  • The pulmonary systems undergoes several changes that include decreased lung compliance, decreased chest wall compliance, increased O2 consumption, increased CO2 production, and increased work of breathing.
  • When initiating mechanical ventilation in the obese patient without ARDS, consider the following initial settings:
    • Tidal volume 6 ml/kg ideal body weight
    • PEEP of 10-12 cm H2O
    • RR to achieve a PaCO2 35-45 mmHg
    • FiO2 to maintain SpO2 92-95%
    • Driving pressure < 15 cm H2O

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Category: Misc

Title: CT Radiation doses

Keywords: CT, head, radiation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/13/2019 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

 
  • A recent retrospective study examined CT radiation doses in different types of facilities

 

  • Mean patient age: 12 years
  • Authors reviewed radiation doses for nearly 240,000 CT scans in over 500 facilities
  •  
  • The facilities were categorized into 4 groups: 

 

  • 1) academic pediatric,
  • 2) non-academic pediatric,
  • 3) academic adult, 
  • 4) non-academic adult

 

Most (65%) scans were performed at nonacademic adult centers

 

  • Radiation doses were significantly higher at adult facilities vs. pediatric facilities
  • Also, radiation doses were higher at non-academic vs. academic facilities
  • For example, the largest children received twice the radiation dose for abdomen-pelvis CT scans performed at nonacademic adult facilities compared with academic pediatric facilities
    • 11.9 mGy vs. 5.8 mGy
  • Academic pediatric facilities use lower radiation doses than do nonacademic pediatric or adult facilities for all head CT examinations and for the majority of chest and abdomen-pelvis

 

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Over 630,000 children visit the ED every year with a diagnosis of concussion

Predictors of persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS):

  • female sex
  • age over 13 years
  • previous concussive symptoms lasting over 1 week
  • headache
  • sensistivity to noise
  • fatigue
  • slow response to questions.

Appromixately 1/3 of pediatric patients will have PPCS lasting over 2 weeks

Likelihood of PPCS increases to >50% in those with risk factors identified in the ED

Every state has a youth concussion law. The basic tenants are a) immediate removal from play b) written clearance from health professional to return to play c) education for athlete, parents, coaches.

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Category: Neurology

Title: Intraosseous Administration of Hypertonic Saline

Keywords: 23.4%, mannitol, intracranial hypertension, herniation, IO (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/11/2019 by WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD (Updated: 7/16/2019)
Click here to contact WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD

  • Hypertonic saline and mannitol are commonly used for management of acute intracranial hypertension and cerebral herniation.
  • The choice of medication is often limited by venous access.
  • 23.4% NaCl has been shown to decrease intracranial pressure in patients refractory to mannitol.
    • It requires administration through a central line to avoid sclerosis of the peripheral veins and tissue necrosis with extravasation.
  • Intraosseous (IO) access provides a more rapid route for 23.4% NaCl administration.
    • No complications were observed relating to IO insertion site.
    • Transient hypotension occurred in more patients who received 23.4% NaCl via IO vs. central line.

Bottom Line: Use of IO allows more rapid administration of 23.4% NaCl with no immediate serious complications.

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