UMEM Educational Pearls

Question

What is the name of the toxin found in this seed/bean and its mechanism of toxicity?

 

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Bean_pic.jpg (32 Kb)


Category: Neurology

Title: The Headache Formerly Known as Pseudotumor Cerebri (Submitted by Ryan Spangler)

Keywords: idiopathic intracranial hypertension, papilledema, intracranial pressure, cranial nerve palsy (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/8/2020 by WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD
Click here to contact WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD

Takeaways

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a vision-threatening illness with significant morbidity and needs to be considered as a possible headache diagnosis in the ED. Most often, this occurs in women of childbearing age with a BMI >30, but atypical varieties exist.

Symptoms: Headache (90%), visual disturbance, pulsatile tinnitus, horizotal diplopia.

Signs: Papilledema, 6th cranial nerve (abducens) palsy.

Evaluation: Neuroimaging including CTV or MRV to identify alternate cause including cerebral venous outflow obstruction, lumbar puncture with opening pressure >30 cmH2O (25-30 cmH2O is gray zone), blood work per clinical presentation, CSF analysis.

Treatment: No clear consensus, but typically acetazolamide. Severe or refractory symptoms may require surgical intervention such as optic nerve sheath fenestration, VP shunt, venous sinus stenting.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Use of IV contrast for CT a consensus statement

Keywords: Contrast induced nephropathy; acute kidney injury; consensus statement (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/7/2020 by Kim Boswell, MD
Click here to contact Kim Boswell, MD

We all know the frustration that comes with the phone call from radiology asking if you “really want IV contrast” for your patient’s CT because the creatinine is elevated…

Recently, a joint statement was published between the American College of Radiology and the National Kidney Foundation regarding the safety of IV contrast in patients with kidney disease. The recommendations are based on GFR and apply to those with both chronic kidney disease as well as those who have an acute kidney injury. Summary points of the statement are below:

  • Prophylaxis is not indicated with a GFR > 45mL/min
  • Prophylaxis should be given to patients with a GFR < 30mL/min (Other conditions such as heart failure or hypervolemia may preclude prophylaxis based on clinical judgement)
  • Prophylaxis is NOT indicated in those with GFR > 30mL/min even if patients also have diabetes, dialysis dependent renal failure or those at risk of heart failure.
  • High risk patients (Recent AKI, borderline GFR, or numerous risk factors) with GFR 30-44mL/min can be considered for prophylaxis based on clinical judgement

 

  • Preferred prophylaxis is with isotonic fluid, such as normal saline. Volumes and timing are uncertain but should begin prior to contrast administration.
  • Bicarbonate and N-acetylcysteine are not recommended fluids for prophylaxis

 

  • There is no need for acute HD or CRRT following contrast administration in ESRD patients

Every decision to use contrast should be made based on clinical need for contrast as well as individual patient risk factors and underlying disease processes.

 

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Category: Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Title: Safe Opioid Use in Renal Failure

Keywords: opioid, renal failure, dialysis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/6/2020 by Ashley Martinelli (Updated: 10/28/2020)
Click here to contact Ashley Martinelli

Pain management can be challenging in patients with acute or chronic renal failure.  Opioid medications should always be used with caution, but some are safer than others.  Morphine and codeine specifically should be avoided in these patients due to accumulation of active metabolites that can prolong the duration of effect and adverse events. 

Opioid

Renal Failure Impacts

Renal Failure Recommendation

Dialysis Recommendation

Morphine

Active metabolites accumulate

no

no

Codeine

Active metabolites accumulate

no

no

Hydromorphone

Minimal active metabolites

yes

yes

Oxycodone

Minimal active metabolites

yes

yes

Fentanyl

No active metabolites

yes

yes

Methadone

Active metabolites are inactive

yes

yes

 

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Takeaways

Every year, numerous children die of non-exertional heatstroke after being left in motor vehicles in the United States. Per data obtained from the national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org, the average number of pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths is 39 per year since 1990. In 2018, this number peaked at 54 pediatric deaths. Prior studies show that the interior temperature of a closed vehicle rises quickly within minutes of closing the doors and windows. This rapid change occurs even on days with cooler ambient temperatures (20s °C/70s °F): the interior temperature of a car may still reach 117F within an hour.

Children, particularly infants and toddlers, are at increased risk for heat illness due to several physiologic and developmental factors:

-       Unable to escape hot environments or to self-hydrate

-       Lack mature thermoregulatory systems

o   Have lower rate of sweat production than adults

-       Have higher basal metabolic rates than adults

-       Have higher body surface area:mass ratio --> absorb heat faster in hot environments

Bottom line:  ED providers can be instrumental in giving anticipatory guidance on vehicular heatstroke in children during the warmer seasons:

-        Educate caregivers to “Look before you Lock”

-       Suggest that the caregiver place a valuable object (phone, employee badge, handbag) in the back seat when traveling with a child

-       Remind caregiver of the dangers of intentionally leaving a child in the car for any reason, even during cooler spring/summer days.

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Attachments

Hammett._Pediatric_Heatstroke_Fatalities_Caused_by_Being_Left_in_Cars.pdf (581 Kb)


Category: Critical Care

Title: Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio

Keywords: Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, NLR, ANC, ALC, Sepsis, COVID (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/30/2020 by Mark Sutherland, MD
Click here to contact Mark Sutherland, MD

As has been previously noted, the white blood cell count is "the last refuge of the intellectually destitute."  However, within a CBC (especially if a differential is obtained), there is information that can sometimes be of value.  One measure, which was noted before COVID but has come under increasing attention in the current pandemic, is the Neutrophil-To-Lypmhocyte Ratio (NLR).  Because physiologic stress typically causes the Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) to increase and the Absolute Lymphocyte Count (ALC) to decrease, the ratio of the two values (NLR = ANC/ALC) should increase when the body is under stress.  Similar to the WBC however, it should be noted that ANY source of physiologic stress can cause abnormalities of the NLR, and thus this is not limited strictly to infectious etiologies.  

With that caveat in mind, the NLR can sometimes be a clue to the degree of physiologic stress the patient is under.  As lymphopenia is a frequent finding in COVID, the NLR has come under particular interest in the setting of COVID and appears to have prognostic value in COVID+ patients.

It should be kept in mind that inflammatory stressors (e.g. sepsis) are likely to disproportionately raise the NLR relative to noninflammatory stressors (e.g. pulmonary embolism), so a septic patient with an NLR of 10 might not be all that ill, whereas a PE patient with an NLR of 10 may be sicker.  As with any single lab, and particularly one so nonspecific, there are no hard and fast cutoffs, and the NLR has to be interpreted in the context of other clinical data (it is very much possible to have a high NLR and not be that sick, or to have a low NLR and be sick... this is only one datapoint and does have pitfalls associated with it).  As a rough guide however, a Pulmcrit post by Josh Farkas from 2019 suggested the following interpretation of the NLR:

1-3: Normal

6-9: Mild stress (e.g. uncomplicated appendicitis)

9-18: Moderate stress, may be associated with critical illness

>18: Severe stress, commonly associated with critical illness

The post (see references below) provides an excellent overview of NLR, further information on the uses and pitfalls of NLR, and several additional sources on the subject.  It's a very worthwhile read.  

 

Bottom Line: The Neutrophil-To-Lymphocyte Ratio (NLR = ANC/ALC) is one indicator of the degree of physiologic stress, and may be used in conjuction with other clues to determine how sick your patient is.  

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Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can cause neurologic and cardiovascular toxicity. It is produce by combustion of organic materials/fuel such as natural gas (furnace, gas stove, water heater, space heater) or gasoline.  DVT/PE has been reported among victims of CO poisoning. 

A recently published article investigated the risk of DVT/PE after CO poisoning. 

  • Study design: cohort-cross over study (cross over at 1 year after CO poisoning)
  • Setting: South Korea
  • Data source: National Health Insurance Service database

Results

22,699 patients with CO poisoning were identified between 2004 and 2015

30 days after CO poisoning

  • Risk of PE: OR of 22.0; 95% CI: 5.33 to 90.75
  • Risk of DVT: OR of 10.33; 95% CI: 3.16 to 33.80

90 days after CO poisoning

  • Risk of PE/DVT: OR of 3.96; 95% CI: 2.5 to 6.25

No significant increase in risk > 90 days.

Conclusion

  • Patients are at highest risk of developing PE/DVT during first 30 days after CO poisoning.
  • Increased risk of PE/DVT persisted up to 90 days after CO poisoning.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: STILL no evidence to support platelet transfusion of platelets for non-surgical ICH

Keywords: ICH, stroke, hemorrhagic, platelet, DDAVP, desmopressin (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/23/2020 by Robert Brown, MD
Click here to contact Robert Brown, MD

Takeaways

Mortality is high in intracranial hemorrhage, and even higher for anti-platelet associated ICH (AP-ICH). The Platelet Transfusion Versus Standard Care After Acute Stroke Due to Spontaneous Cerebral Hemorrhage Associated with Antiplatelet Therapy (PATCH) trial was shocking: it demonstrated platelet transfusion was associated with worse outcomes, excluding those patients who were planned to go to surgery in the next 24 hours. SCCM and the Neurocritical Care Society recommend AGAINST platelet transfusion in non-operative ICH, but encourage a dose of DDAVP.

But who knows who will go to surgery? If you've been giving platelets and DDAVP to non-operative AP-ICH, you're not alone. So in the July Issue of Crit Care Medicine, the authors of the PATCH trial published a retrospective study of 140 patients, excluding those who immediately had surgery. In this group in which a quarter eventually had decompressive craniectomy and a fifth had an external ventricular drain placed, half received platelets and DDAVP instead of DDAVP alone. 

The result? Still no benefit to platelet transfusion (despite the inclusion of patients who went on to have surgery). We all WANT to give platelets to AP-ICH, but there is NO evidence of BENEFIT and we may cause HARM. A test of platelet function (like the TEG) should be performed at the very least to select for patients with actual platelet dysfunction, and transfusion should be limited to patients going to surgery.

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Category: Infectious Disease

Title: HIV/AIDS medications and their common side effects

Keywords: HIV, Medications (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/20/2020 by Michael Bond, MD (Updated: 6/21/2020)
Click here to contact Michael Bond, MD

HIV/AIDS medications and their common side effects
  • Didanosine: pancreatitis
  • Indinavir: nephrolithiasis
  • Isoniazid: hepatitis
  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole: hyperkalemia, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
  • Ritonavir: paresthesias, metabolic syndrome
  • Pentamidine: hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia
  • Efavirenz: psychosis
  • Dapsone: hepatitis
  • Nevirapine: hepatic failure
  • AZT: bone marrow suppression and macrocytic anemia
Thing you need to know for your certifying exam

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Failure to thrive in children in the ED

Keywords: weight loss, not eating, small, FTT (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/19/2020 by Jenny Guyther, MD
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

Children will often present to the ED with concern for poor feeding or weight loss.  Be concerned about failure to thrive when: 2 or more growth percentile lines are crossed or weight or length is less than the 5th percentile for the patients chronological age.
Make sure to ask about feeding technique, type of formula, frequency of feeds and problems with feeding.
Keep a broad differential in the ED in children with weight concerns including non accidental trauma, congenital heart disease, genetic abnormalities, hyperthyroidism, and gastrointestinal abnormalities.  GI problems include cow's milk protein intolerance, celiac disease, pyloric stenosis and reflux.

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Analgesics & Sedatives in the Critically Ill Obese Patient

  • Analgesic and sedative medications are frequently administered to critically ill patients.
  • Weight-based dosing regimens for these medications can lead to significant over-, or under-, dosing in the critically ill obese patient (BMI > 40 kg/m2).
  • In order to avoid harm, it is important to know when to use actual body weight (ABW), ideal body weight (IBW), or adjusted body weight in weight-based dosing regimens.
  • Recommendations for weight-based dosing regimens for commonly used analgesic and sedative medications include:
    • Opioids: use IBW or adjusted body weight
    • Ketamine: use IBW or adjusted body weight
    • Propofol: use IBW or adjusted body weight
    • Etomidate: use adjusted body weight or ABW
    • Midazolam: use IBW or adjusted body weight

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: Sickle cell trait and exertional death

Keywords: Sickle cell trait, exertional death (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/13/2020 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 10/28/2020)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Sickle cell trait (SCT) is common and often overlooked clinically

               -7.3% African Americans

               -0.7% Hispanics

               -0.3% Caucasians

 

SCT is a leading cause of exertional death in athletes who play football

The exact mechanism is unknown but likely involves a combination of high intensity exercise, dehydration, heat strain and inadequate opportunity for cardiovascular recovery leading to microvascular erythrocyte sickling.

This leads to hypoxia, cell death, hyperkalemia, and death from arrhythmia.

Presentation often involves rhabdomyolysis and exertional collapse.

In August of 2010 the NCAA enacted legislation requiring documentation of SCT status of all Division 1 athletes (2012 for Division 2 and 2014 for Division 3)

They also mandated education, counseling and issued guidelines for proper conditioning

Sudden death in athletes with SCT was first observed in military recruits in 1970.

Death in African American military recruits was 28 times more likely in those with SCT than in those without.

A 2012 study of football athletes found the risk of exertional death to be 37 times higher in athletes with SCT than in those without.

Despite game/competition situations being more intense, deaths occur almost exclusively during practice and conditioning drills.

Following the 2010 legislation, there has been a 89% decrease in death from SCT in NCAA D1 football.

Workout plans need to account for heat/humidity, the athletes level of conditioning and allow for adequate rest, recovery, hydration. SCT screening is only part of the solution.

 

 

 

 

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Case: 27 year old with hydroxychloroquine overdose

Keywords: hydroxychloroquine toxicity, overdose (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/11/2020 by Hong Kim, MD, MPH
Click here to contact Hong Kim, MD, MPH

Question

 

A 27 year-old man with history of rheumatoid arthritis presents to the emergency department after ingestion of hydroxychloroquine (20 tablets of 200 mg/tablet). He complains of nausea/vomiting. He appears lethargic. What is the anticipated hydroxychloroquine toxicity and management?

VS: Temp: afebrile, BP: 95/55 mmHg, RR: 23 breaths/min, O2 saturation: 99%

ECG:

 

 

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Category: Neurology

Title: Neurological Conditions Affected by Pregnancy

Keywords: pregnancy, postpartum, migraine, RCVS, CVT, Bell's Palsy, facial palsy (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/10/2020 by WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD
Click here to contact WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD

  • The hormonal changes and hypercoagulable state associated with pregnancy can contribute to neurological conditions.
  • Migraine
    • Migraines decrease in frequency through second trimester with increased estrogen, while increase in frequency postpartum with drop in estrogen, stress, and sleep deprivation.
    • Women with history of migraine have higher risk of preeclampsia (odds ratio 2.87).
  • Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome (RCVS)
    • Pregnancy is a risk factor for RCVS with 2/3 of cases of pregnancy-related RCVS occurring in the postpartum period.
  • Cerebral Venous Thrombosis (CVT)
    • CVT is associated with the hypercoagulable state in late pregnancy and postpartum period, though often associated with additional source of hypercoagulability.
    • Other risk factors include older maternal age, cesarean delivery, smoking, and dehydration.
  • Bell’s Palsy
    • Bell’s Palsy is more prevalent in pregnancy, occurring in the third trimester and the first week postpartum.

Bottom Line: Pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for RCVS, CVT, and Bell’s Palsy. Pregnancy also affects the frequency of migraines due to hormonal fluctuations.

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis does not prevent Covid-19 infection: A Randomized Control Trials

Keywords: Covid-19, hydroxychloroquine, prophylaxis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/9/2020 by Quincy Tran, MD (Updated: 10/28/2020)
Click here to contact Quincy Tran, MD

Patient

·         A North America multicenter study involving 821 asymptomatic patients who had exposure to Covid-19-positive patients.  The study was double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial.

Intervention

·         Within 4 days of exposure, participants were randomized to receive hydroxychloroquine.  Dose of hydroxychloroquine was 800 mg once then 600 mg in 6-8 hours then 600 mg daily for 4 more days.

·         There were 414 patients in this arm. Median age 41 years [IQR 33-51]

Comparison:

·         Placebo treatment.  There were 407 patients in this arm. Median age 40years [IQR 32-50]

Outcome:

·         Incidence of either laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 or Covid-19 symptoms within 14 days.

Results:

·         49 (11.8%) patients with treatment had Covid-19 findings (positive tests or symptoms)

·         58 (14.3%) patients with placebo had Covid-19 findings (p=0.35). 

·         The absolute difference was -2.4%.  The number need to treat (NNT) to prevent one infection is 42 patients.  Number needed to harm is 50 patients.

·         Symptoms were fatigue (49.5%), cough (44.9%), sore throat (40.2%) myalgia (37.4%), fever (34.6%), anosmia (23.4%), shortness of breath (18.7%).

 

Conclusion:

Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis did not prevent post-exposure Covid-19 infection.

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Category: Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Title: Disulfiram-like Reaction with Metronidazole

Keywords: Metronidazole, Disulfiram-like Reaction (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/6/2020 by Wesley Oliver
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While taking metronidazole it is advised that patients avoid ethanol use for at least 3 days after therapy due to the possibility of a disulfiram-like reaction.  The disulfiram-like reaction presents as abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and/or flushing and can cause extreme discomfort for patients.  A recent case report describes a case of a disulfiram-like reaction in a patient receiving metronidazole and an oral prednisone solution that contained 30% alcohol.  This case highlights an important point.  Not only should we counsel patients about avoiding alcoholic beverages for at least 3 days after metronidazole therapy, but they should also avoid all alcohol-containing products, such as oral solutions and mouthwash.

 

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Takeaways

Clinical Question: Will resuscitation guided by dynamic assessments of fluid responsiveness in patients with septic shock improve patient outcomes?

Methodology:

Design: Randomized, unblinded clinical trial among adults with sepsis-associated hypotension comparing PLR-guided SV responsiveness as a guide for fluid management (intervention) versus “usual care” at 13 hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom (randomization was in a 2:1 allocation of SV-guided to usual care).

 

Inclusion criteria:

-patients presenting to the ED with sepsis or septic shock and anticipated ICU admission.

-refractory hypotension (MAP ≤ 65mmHg after receiving ≥ 1L and < 3L of fluid)

Exclusion criteria:

-infusion of > 3L of IV fluid prior to randomization

-hemodynamic instability due to active hemorrhage

-pregnancy or being incarcerated

-indication for immediate surgery

-acute CVA, acute coronary syndrome, acute pulmonary edema, status asthmaticus, major cardiac arrhythmia, drug overdose, injury from burn or trauma, status epilepticus

-inability or contraindication to passive leg raising

Intervention (in ICU):

-PLRs were performed prior to any treatment of hypoperfusion with either fluid bolus or vasopressors for the first 72 hours after ICU admission or until ICU discharge (whichever occurred first)

-If patient was FR (increase in SV ≥10%) a 500 ml crystalloid fluid bolus was given with repeat PLRs after every fluid bolus

-If the patient was non-FR, initiation or up-titration of vasopressors was prompted with repeat PLRs after significant escalation (an increase of 1 mcg/kg/min norepinephrine)

 

Results:

-83 patients in Intervention arm, 41 in Usual Care arm

-Both arms received a similar volume of resuscitation fluid prior to enrollment (2.4 ± 0.6 L Intervention vs. 2.2 ± 0.7L Usual Care)

-Positive fluid balance at 72 hours or ICU discharge, was significantly less in the Intervention arm (-1.37L favoring Intervention, 0.65 ± 2.85L Median: 0.53L Intervention vs. 2.02 ± 3.44L Median: 1.22L Usual Care, p=0.02).

-Fewer patients required RRT (5.1% vs 17.5%, p=0.04) or MV in Intervention arm compared to Usual Care (17.7% vs 34.1%, p=0.04)

-ICU length of stay was similar in the two arms  

-There was no difference in overall 30-day mortality (6.3% difference, Intervention: 15.7% vs. Usual Care: 22.0%, 95% CI -21.2%, 8.6%)

 

Implications:

Although this is a smaller, unblinded (also funded by maker of SV monitoring device) study, Douglas et al. demonstrate that limiting fluid administration using dynamic assessments of fluid responsiveness to guide resuscitation in patients in septic shock is likely safe. In fact, this may actually decrease the need for renal replacement therapy and mechanical ventilation amongst this patient population. At the very least, this study adds to the body of literature showing the harms of excessive fluid administration and positive fluid balance.

 

Bottom line:

If possible, use dynamic assessments of fluid responsiveness in patients with septic shock to guide interventions, particularly for further resuscitation beyond initial fluid resuscitation (~2 liters in this study).

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Riot Control Agents - submitted by Jake Danoff

Keywords: Riot control agent, Mace, pepper spray, tear gas (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/4/2020 by Hong Kim, MD, MPH
Click here to contact Hong Kim, MD, MPH

 

Over the past several days, riot control agents have been used against the protest participants (related to Mr. George Floyd’s death). There are 3 widely used riot control “lacrimating” agents: 

  1. Mace (2-chloroacetophenone)
  2. Pepper spray (capsaicins)
  3. Tear gas (O-chlorobenzylidene malonitrile)

These agents (irritants) primarily affect the eye, skin, and respiratory tract.

 

 

Organ

Effect

Management

Eyes

·    Lacrimination

·    Blepharospasm

·    Conjunctiva irritation/conjunctivitis 

·    Periorbital edema

·    Corneal abrasions 

·     Copious H20/saline irrigation with Morgan Lensor Nasal Cannula jury-rig

·     Slit lamp exam for corneal abrasions 

Skin

·    Burning sensation

·    Blister

·    Contact dermatitis

·    2nd degree burns (mace) 

·     Wash with soap and water

·     Wound care 

Airway/respiratory tract

·    Respiratory tract irritation

·    Rhinorrhea

·    Laryngospasm

·    Bronchospasm

·    Chemical pneumonitis

·     B2-agonists for bronchospasm

·     Steroids if worsening underlying reactive airway disease 

·     CXR to evaluate for possible pneumonitis 

·     Supplementary oxygen as needed

 

Mangement:

  • Initial management involves copious irritation of the affected area with water. 
  • There is limited evidence that decontamination with milk, milk of magnesia, or baby shampoo is better than water. 
  • Always consider projectile or blunt trauma that may be associated with the riot-control-related ED visits/complaint. 
  • Protect yourself by wearing PPE when evaluating/treating these patients.

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Category: Airway Management

Title: Five questions to ask all Patients from Kinjal Sethuraman

Keywords: Patient, centered, communication (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/30/2020 by Michael Bond, MD (Updated: 10/28/2020)
Click here to contact Michael Bond, MD

Atul Gawande's book Being Mortal is a thoughtful and well researched review of how we treat our ill, elderly and dying.  He suggests 5 questions to ask all patients as an opening discussion 
 
  • What is your understanding of where you are and of your illness?
  • Your fears or worries for the future
  • Your goals and priorities
  • What outcomes are unacceptable to you? What are you willing to sacrifice and not?
  • And later, what would a good day look like?

Asking these allows everybody to understand what the goal really is — what are you really fighting for? It’s for a life that contains certain things.

 

 

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Pediatric Covid-19 Infection

Posted: 5/29/2020 by Rose Chasm, MD (Updated: 10/28/2020)
Click here to contact Rose Chasm, MD

  • Although significant data has been accumulated regarding Covid-19 infection in adults, the epidemiologic characters and clinical course descriptions in the pediatric population lags.
  • Studies to date report that children have mild self-limiting disease with low mortality, even in Immunocompromised children.
  • Less than half have fever.
  • However, recent reports of a severe illness similar to Kawasaki Disease and/or toxic shock syndrome have led to the newly dubbed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
  • MIS-C CDC Criteria: <21 years of age, laboratory evidence of inflammation, clinically severe illness requiring hospitalization with multisystem involvement, no alternative diagnosis, and positive Covid-19 test or exposure within 4 weeks of presentation.
  • MIS-C seems to spare infants and toddlers, and is mostly described in school aged and adolescent groups.
  • MIS-C often begins with fever and GI symptoms (mild vague abdominal pain,diarrhea and/or vomiting). 
  • Telltale presentation of an erythematous rash that spares the limbs and is associated with conjunctival injection.  Hence the initial misdiagnosis of Kawasaki and Toxic Shock in the first reported cases.
  • MIS-C patients quickly decompensate to severe shock that is often refractory to typical treatments.
  • Providers should have a higher index of suspicion for MIS-C in any child who presents with concern for Covid-19 infection with these symptoms, and especially with abnormal vital signs. Closer monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure, which is often neglected is vital.

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