Author: Don Stader, M.D.
- Pulmonary embolism is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality.
- There is disagreement among different medical societies about the value of D-dimer as a screening modality. If you use it, consider the rational D-dimer approach whereby you add 250 to your cut-off for every trimester.
- A useful screening modality is an ultrasound of bilateral lower extremities looking for DVT.
- Keep in mind, both a V/Q scan and CT scan have a significant amount of radiation. CTA is probably the right diagnostic test (less radiation than CT w&w/o).
- Always use the shared decision-making model and clinical acumen to choose your tests.
Leung AN, et. al. (2011). An official American Thoracic Society/Society of Thoracic Radiology clinical practice guideline: evaluation of suspected pulmonary embolism in pregnancy. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 184(10):1200-8
Polak JF, Wilkinson DL. (1991). Ultrasonographic diagnosis of symptomatic deep venous thrombosis in pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 165(3):625-9.
Sachs BP, et. al. (1987). Maternal mortality in Massachusetts. Trends and prevention. New England Journal of Medicine. 316(11):667-72.
Check out this episode!
Author: Michael Hunt, M.D.
- 1% of patients presenting to ED with alcohol intoxication end up going to the ICU.
- Most common critical illnesses were acute hypoxic respiratory failure, sepsis, and intracranial hemorrhage.
- Predictive markers: Vital abnormalities (hypoxia, tachycardic, tachypneic, hypothermic, hyperthermia, hypoglycemia) and patients receiving parenteral sedatives had higher incidence of ICU admission.
Klein, LR; et al. (2018). Unsuspected Critical Illness Among Emergency Department Patients Presenting for Acute Alcohol Intoxication. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 71(3):279-288
Author: Dr. Karen Woolf, MD
- Anatomy : base of skull to posterior mediastinum, anteriorly bounded by middle layer of deep cervical fascia and posteriorly by the deep layer, communicates to lateral pharyngeal space bounded by carotid sheath. Lymph node chains draining nasopharynx, sinuses, middle ear, etc. run through it.
- Epidemiology & Microbiology: most common kids 2-4, (neonates too). Polymicrobial (GAS, MSSA, MRSA, respiratory anaerobes).
- Signs and symptoms can include pharyngitis, dysphagia, odynophagia, drooling, torticollis, muffled voice, respiratory distress, stridor, neck swelling, and trismus.
- Exam may show drooling, posterior pharyngeal swelling, anterior cervical LAD, or a neck mass.
- Imaging: Get CT neck w/IV contrast!
- DDx: epiglottis, croup, bacterial tracheitis, peritonsillar abscess, trauma, foreign body, angioedema, cystic hygroma, meningitis, osteomyelitis, tetanus toxin.
- Tx: Unasyn, if not responding add Vancomycin or Linezolid; surgical drainage if airway is compromised.
- Complications: airway obstruction, sepsis, aspiration pneumonia, IJ thrombosis, carotid artery rupture, mediastinitis.
Craig FW, Schunk JE. Retropharyngeal abscess in children: clinical presentation, utility of imaging, and current management. Pediatrics 2003; 111:1394.
Fleisher GR. Infectious disease emergencies. In: Textbook of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, 5th ed, Fleisher GR, Ludwig S, Henretig FM (Eds), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia 2006. p.783.
Goldstein NA, Hammersclag MR. Peritonsillar, retropharyngeal, and parapharyngeal abscesses. In: Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 6th ed, Feigin RD, Cherry JD, Demmler-Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL (Eds), Saunders, Philadelphia 2009. P.177
Author: Gretchen Hinson, M.D.
- PNES vs. epilepsy: postictal state is diagnostic of an epileptic seizure (sonorous respirations and/or confusion, lasting typically 20-30 minutes); Epileptiform seizures show decrease in convulsion frequency, but increase in convulsion amplitude while PNES convulsions demonstrate episodic convulsion amplitudes; and epileptiform seizures usually do not pause.
- PNES is a form of conversion disorder and can be associated with underlying personality disorder; however there are patients with epilepsy that also can have PNES which complicates the diagnosis and treatment.
- Patients that are malingering may have flailing movements and might talk during the episodes – both not typical of epileptic seizures or PNES.
- Treatment for PNES is with psychotropic medications and psychotherapy as opposed to antiepileptic medications
Avbersek, A; Sisodiya, S. (2010). Does the primary literature provide support for clinical signs used to distinguish psychogenic nonepileptic seizures from epileptic seizures?. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. 81(7):719-25.
Devinsky, O; Gazzola, D; LaFrance, W. Curt (2011). Differentiating between nonepileptic and epileptic seizures. Nature Reviews. Neurology. 7 (4): 210?220.
Lesser, RP. (2003). Treatment and Outcome of Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures. Epilepsy Currents. 3(6):198-200. doi:10.1046/j.1535-7597.2003.03601.x.
Pillaia, JA; Hautab SR. (2012). Patients with epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: An inpatient video-EEG monitoring study. Seizure. 21(1): 24-27.
Author: Peter Bakes, M.D.
- High risk patients: underlying lung disease, immunocompromised, extremes of age (<2 or >65), underlying cardiac/renal/neurologic disease, and pregnant women.
- Testing: RT-PCR (RNA based test that is both sensitive and specific)
- Workup: comorbidities dictate whether or not they are screened; CXR indicated in high risk patients with respiratory symptoms.
- Morbidity from flu comes from secondary pneumonia, sepsis, and septic shock.
- Treatment options are Tamiflu and Relenza (Relenza is contraindicated in patients with lung disease).
- High risk patients see average of 2.5 days shortening of illness and a decrease in illness severity. Low risk patients see average of 1.5 days shortening of illness.
Binnicker MJ, Espy MJ, Irish CL, Vetter EA. Direct Detection of Influenza A and B Viruses in Less Than 20 Minutes Using a Commercially Available Rapid PCR Assay. J Clin Microbiol. 2015 Jul; 53(7): 2353-4.
Longo, Dan L. (2012). “187: Influenza”. Harrison’s principles of internal medicine (18th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780071748896.
Author: Sam Killian, M.D.
- Spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality (SCIWORA) is a diagnosis defined as traumatic injury to spine with clinical sx of traumatic myelopathy (paraplegia, paresthesias, FND) without radiographic abnormalities.
- Term was established in 1970’s before MRI and accounted for about 15% of injuries at the time (mainly children). Today SCIWORA accounts for about 10% of spinal injuries.
- Belief is that injury causes subtle movement of the spinal cord from its natural position with resultant contusion or ischemia with subsequent deficits.
- Treatment involves prolonged immobilization (up to 12 weeks).
Walecki, J. (2014). Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiographic Abnormality (SCIWORA) ? Clinical and Radiological Aspects. Polish Journal of Radiology,79, 461-464. doi:10.12659/pjr.890944
Author: Aaron Lessen, M.D.
- Recurrence rate for first time unprovoked seizures – 5% after 48 hours, 14% at 2 weeks , 30% after 4 months.
- Higher risk for recurrence: age under 3; patients with multiple seizures at initial presentation, focal neurologic findings on initial presentation.
- Useful for counseling patients and recommending follow up.
Shinnar S, Berg AT, Moshé SL, et al. Risk of seizure recurrence following a first unprovoked seizure in childhood: a prospective study. Pediatrics 1990; 85:1076.