Typically, the initial evaluation of blunt trauma patients involves a supine anteroposterior (AP) chest x-ray (CXR) which has a poor sensitivity for the detection of pneumothorax (PTX), and has been reported as low as 20% – 48%. Following the CXR computed tomography (CT) has been the standard for the diagnosis of pneumothorax. The use of ultrasonography to diagnose pneumothorax was first described in 1986 in animal studies. Since then there have been many studies that have shown bedside ultrasound can rapidly detect pneumothorax, helping avoid serious potential consequences (i.e. tension pneumothorax), especially in patients requiring mechanical ventilation. There are several different sonographic signs that can be used to detect pneumothorax, specifically, sonographic lung sliding. But how good is ultrasound for the detection of pneumothorax?
Please welcome a new development in critical care publishing with the launch of a new open access critical care journal: CRITICAL CARE HORIZONS!!! This will be a fresh, new, original voice in the critical care literature, offering thought provoking, cutting-edge commentary, opinion papers, plus state-of-the art review articles. Read more →
89 year old male with PMH of hypertension, stage 3 chronic kidney disease with chief complaint of shortness of breath. Several days ago patient had a laminectomy for radicular pain. He was doing fine post-operatively and began to develop gradual shortness of breath. He had no complaints of chest pain, nausea/vomiting, fevers, diaphoresis, but did have some weakness. There were no prior ECGs for comparison.
BP: 98/48 HR: 103 RR: 18 O2 on RA: 94% Temp: 38.6
JVD to the angle of the mandible
Bilateral lower extremity pitting edema
Labs: Na 125, K+ 4.2, Creatinine 2, BNP > 2500
ECG from triage is shown… Read more →
The first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) was performed in 1984 and since that time there is an increasingly growing population of patients with LVADs. This means ED physicians will be seeing more and more of these patients in the ED and should have a basic understanding of how these devices work and have an adequate understanding of common complications and an approach to evaluate these patients. LVADs are typically used for end-stage heart failure for both a bridge to transplantion and for long-term quality of life improvement. Most of the information for this post comes from a great review article written by Chris Partyka et al in EMA 2014. Read more →
Typically, the treatment of acute pulmonary embolism consists of administration of unfractionated heparin or low molecular weight heparin (i.e. enoxaparin) overlapped with vitamin K antagonists (i.e. warfarin). This can be a very effective treatment regimen, but also very complex. New direct Xa inhibitors are being used more and more in clinical practice with prevention of venothromboembolism (EINSTEIN-DVT Trial), after major orthopedic surgery (RECORD1 Trial), prevention of stroke in patents with atrial fibrillation (ROCKET-AF Trial) , and in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes. Recently, the EINSTEIN-PE Trial evaluated oral rivaroxaban for treatment of symptomatic pulmonary embolism. Read more →