- Subdural hematomas can happen in the elderly because of brain atrophy, and can manifest with neurological deficit.
- Subdural hematomas are caused by rupture of the bridging veins of the brain. This can be caused by trauma, brain atrophy, or possibly by anticoagulant use. They are crescent-shaped on head CT.
- Epidural hematomas, in contrast, are caused by rupture of meningeal arteries secondary to trauma. They are usually lens-shaped on head CT.
- Subdurals are difficult to pick up on head CT because they may be isodense to brain tissue.
References: Management of Recurrent Subdural Hematomas Desai, Virendra R. et al. Neurosurgery Clinics , Volume 28 , Issue 2 , 279 – 286
Author: Chris Holmes, M.D.
- The nexus chest CT scan rule is based on an 11,000 subject, multicenter study that looked for signs following a trauma that predicted significant findings on subsequent chest CT.
- Findings that were associated with abnormal chest CT included: abnormal CXR, distracting injury, chest wall, sternal, thoracic spine or scapular tenderness. Furthermore, a mechanism of injury that includes rapid deceleration was also associated.
- If a patient has none of the above findings, then there is only a small chance that there will be an abnormal chest CT.
Author: Dylan Luyten, M.D.
- Lactate is a byproduct of anaerobic metabolism, a sign of dying tissue. Dangerous causes of high lactates will not normalize with repeat labs.
- Crush injuries, seizures, bowel necrosis, end-stage liver disease, and metformin toxicity are common causes of highly elevated lactate.
Katie Sprinkel, M.D.
Emergency Medicine Physician
SANE Medical Director, Medical Center of Aurora
Amy Ferrin, Senior Deputy District Attorney
County Court Supervisor
Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District
Amy Ferrin and Dr. Katie Sprinkel speak about the medical and legal aspects of domestic violence.
Author: Jennifer Wright – BSN, RN
- Strangulation is common in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault, and it is associated with higher mortality.
- People who have been strangled have a higher rate of stroke due to vascular damage to carotid artery.
- Only 50% of people who die from strangulation show external signs of trauma
- CTA should be done in all those who experience LOC or incontinence from strangulation.
- 50-60sec of strangulation is all that is required to produce LOC.
Author: Sam Killian, M.D.
- The tongue blade test is done for mandible fractures, which make up 40-60% of facial fractures.
- The test is done by having the patient bite down on a tongue depressor on one side of the mouth. The provider then tries to snap the tongue depressor. This is repeated on the other side of the mouth. The test is positive if the patient complains of pain before the depressor can be broken on either side.
- It has been compared to CT and X-ray and has a similar sensitivity and specificity (95% and 65%, respectively).
References: J. Neiner, et al. Tongue Blade Bite Test Predicts Mandible Fractures. Craniomaxillofac Trauma Reconstr. 2016
Author: Nick Hatch, M.D.
- The force required to break a clavicle is significant, so clavicle fracture may be associated with other injury (pneumothorax, vascular injury).
- Most fractures occur in the middle 1/3 of the clavicle.
- Traditionally, clavicle fractures have been managed without surgery. However, recent studies have shown that surgery may be beneficial in a larger population than previously thought.
Author: Aaron Lessen, M.D.
- 2 studies this past year looked at pediatric and adolescent patients following a concussion. They found people who returned to activity sooner did better than those who went on “brain rest”.
- While patients should still follow up with their PCP following a concussion, it is ok for patients to return to physical activity as tolerated.
References: Grool AM, Aglipay M, Momoli F, Meehan WP, Freedman SB, Yeates KO, Gravel J, Gagnon I, Boutis K, Meeuwisse W, Barrowman N, Ledoux A, Osmond MH, Zemek R, for the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) Concussion Team. Association Between Early Participation in Physical Activity Following Acute Concussion and Persistent Postconcussive Symptoms in Children and Adolescents. JAMA. 2016;316(23):2504-2514. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.17396
Author: Jared Scott, M.D.
- BB gun eye injuries are most common in August and September. They most often happen to males aged 16-17 year old. Around 10% of the BB eye injuries lead to eye loss.
- Accidental firearm injury is common in children and is a common cause of mortality. One-third of homes with children have a firearm.
- Most accidental pediatric gun injuries happen to young, male children with guns owned by family members. It is important to educate gun owners about proper gun storage.
References: Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States Katherine A. Fowler, Linda L. Dahlberg, Tadesse Haileyesus, Carmen Gutierrez, Sarah Bacon. Pediatrics Jun 2017, e20163486; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-3486
Author: Jared Scott M.D.
- Bear mauling is not a common issue in the ED.
- The Ursus americanus (black bear) is the most common in Colorado, but Ursus arctos horribilis (grizzly bear) attacks are more frequent because they are more aggressive.
- Head and neck lacerations are the most common injuries. Complications include infection and long term PTSD.
- Most bear attacks are defensive in nature.
- If a bear attacks you – lay face down and cover your neck with your hands.
References: Frank RC, Mahabir RC, Magi E, Lindsay RL, de Haas W. Bear maulings treated in Calgary, Alberta: Their management and sequelae. The Canadian Journal of Plastic Surgery. 2006;14(3):158-162. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2539044/