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Emergency Medicine Practice

Ryan Anthony Pedigo
Acute dental emergencies are a common chief complaint presenting to emergency departments, and they are increasing substantially in frequency. The diagnosis and management of dental emergencies is a core competency of the emergency clinician, and proper therapeutic strategies can significantly improve cosmetic and functional outcomes for patients. This issue provides a systematic review of the literature on common acute traumatic and atraumatic dental emergencies with a focus on the historical and physical examination findings that must be understood to identify life-threatening infections, relieve pain, salvage natural teeth, and communicate with specialists in the further management of patients after emergency treatment...
June 2017: Emergency Medicine Practice
Emily Singer Fisher, Boyd Burns
Acute decompensated heart failure is a common emergency department presentation with significant associated morbidity and mortality. Heart failure accounts for more than 1 million hospitalizations annually, with a steadily increasing incidence as our population ages. This issue reviews recent literature regarding appropriate management of emergency department presentations of acute decompensated heart failure, with special attention to newer medication options. Emergency department management and appropriate interventions are discussed, along with critical decision-making points in resuscitation for both hypertensive and hypotensive patients...
May 2017: Emergency Medicine Practice
Devjanl Das, Lea Salazar
Patients with maxillofacial trauma require a careful evaluation due to the anatomical proximity of the maxillofacial region to the head and neck. Facial injuries can range from soft-tissue lacerations and nondisplaced nasal fractures to severe, complex fractures, eye injuries, and possible brain injury. Though the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) guidelines provide a framework for the management of trauma patients, they do not provide a detailed reference for many subtle or complex facial injuries. This issue adds a more comprehensive and systematic approach to the secondary survey of the maxillofacial area and emergency department management of injuries to the face...
April 2017: Emergency Medicine Practice
Cynthia Santos, Ruben E Olmedo
Sedative-hypnotic drugs include gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic agents such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid [GHB], gamma-Butyrolactone [GBL], baclofen, and ethanol. Chronic use of these substances can cause tolerance, and abrupt cessation or a reduction in the quantity of the drug can precipitate a life-threatening withdrawal syndrome. Benzodiazepines, phenobarbital, propofol, and other GABA agonists or analogues can effectively control symptoms of withdrawal from GABAergic agents...
March 2017: Emergency Medicine Practice
Nikita Joshi, Molly K Estes, Kayla Shipley, Hyun-Chul Danny Lee
Over the last 20 years, noninvasive ventilation (NIV) strategies have been used with increasing frequency. The ease of use of NIV makes it applicable to patients presenting in a variety of types of respiratory distress. In this review, the physiology of positive pressure ventilation is discussed, including indications, contraindications, and options for mask type and fit. Characteristics of patients who are most likely to benefit from NIV are reviewed, including those in respiratory distress from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation and cardiogenic pulmonary edema...
February 2017: Emergency Medicine Practice
Gregory S Podolej, Christine Babcock
Priapism is a genitourinary emergency that demands a thorough, time-sensitive evaluation. There are 3 types of priapism: ischemic, nonischemic, and recurrent ischemic priapism; ischemic priapism accounts for 95% of cases. Ischemic priapism must be treated within 4 to 6 hours to minimize morbidity, including impotence. The diagnosis of ischemic priapism relies heavily on the history and physical examination and may be facilitated by penile blood gas analysis and penile ultrasound. This issue reviews current evidence regarding emergency department treatment of ischemic priapism using a stepwise approach that begins with aspiration of cavernosal blood, cold saline irrigation, and penile injection with sympathomimetic agents...
January 2017: Emergency Medicine Practice
Charles Walter Bugg, Taku Taira
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a common disease that is associated with significant complications including infertility, chronic pelvic pain, ruptured tubo-ovarian abscess, and ectopic pregnancy. The diagnosis may be delayed when the presentation has nonspecific signs and symptoms. Even when it is properly identified, pelvic inflammatory disease is often treated suboptimally. This review provides evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment, disposition, and follow-up of patients with pelvic inflammatory disease...
December 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
John Ashurst, Shane R Sergent, Benjamin R Sergent
Hypokalemia and hyperkalemia are the most common electrolyte disorders managed in the emergency department. The diagnosis of these potentially life-threatening disorders is challenging due to the often vague symptomatology a patient may express, and treatment options may be based upon very little data due to the time it may take for laboratory values to return. This review examines the most current evidence with regard to the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of potassium disorders. In this review, classic paradigms, such as the use of sodium polystyrene and the routine measurement of serum magnesium, are tested, and an algorithm for the treatment of potassium disorders is discussed...
November 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Julianna Jung
Patient survival after cardiac arrest can be improved significantly with prompt and effective resuscitative care. This systematic review analyzes the basic life support factors that improve survival outcome, including chest compression technique and rapid defibrillation of shockable rhythms. For patients who are successfully resuscitated, comprehensive postresuscitation care is essential. Targeted temperature management is recommended for all patients who remain comatose, in addition to careful monitoring of oxygenation, hemodynamics, and cardiac rhythm...
October 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Gillian A Beauchamp, Matthew Valento
Identifying patients with potential toxic alcohol exposure and initiating appropriate management is critical to avoid significant patient morbidity. Sources of toxic alcohol exposure include ethylene glycol, methanol, diethylene glycol, propylene glycol, and isopropanol. Treatment considerations include the antidotes fomepizole and ethanol, and hemodialysis for removal of the parent compound and its toxic metabolites. Additional interventions include adjunctive therapies that may improve acidosis and enhance clearance of the toxic alcohol or metabolites...
September 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Jeremy Samuel Faust, Andreea Nemes
Transient global amnesia is a clinically distinct syndrome characterized by the acute inability to form new memories. It can last up to 24 hours. The diagnosis is dependent on eliminating other more serious etiologies including toxic ingestions, acute strokes, complex partial seizures, and central nervous system infections. Transient global amnesia confers no known long-term risks; however, when abnormal signs or symptoms are present, they take precedence and guide the formulation of a differential diagnosis and investigation...
August 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Rhonda Cadena
Cervical artery dissections involve the carotid or vertebral arteries. Although the overall incidence is low, they remain a common cause of stroke in children, young adults, and trauma patients. Symptoms such as headache, neck pain, and dizziness are commonly seen in the emergency department, but may not be apparent in the obtunded trauma patient. A missed diagnosis of cervical artery dissection can result in devastating neurological sequelae, so emergency clinicians must act quickly to recognize this event and begin treatment as soon as possible while neurological consultation is obtained...
July 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Eric J Morley, Scott Johnson, Evan Leibner, Jawad Shahid
The majority of blunt chest injuries are minor contusions or abrasions; however, life-threatening injuries, including tension pneumothorax, hemothorax, and aortic rupture can occur and must be recognized early. This review focuses on the diagnosis, management, and disposition of patients with blunt injuries to the ribs and lung. Utilization of decision rules for chest x-ray and computed tomography are discussed, along with the emerging role of bedside lung ultrasonography. Management controversies presented include the limitations of needle thoracostomy us¬ing standard needle, chest tube placement, and chest tube size...
June 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Rachel S Wightman, Kevin B Read, Robert S Hoffman
Caustics are common in household and industrial products, and, when ingested, they can pose a significant public health risk. Caustic exposures in adults typically present in the setting of occupational exposure or suicide attempt; exposures in children occur most often by unintentional ingestion. Caustics cause local damage upon contact with tissue surfaces and can lead to systemic toxicity. Endoscopy is recommended in all intentional ingestions (and many unintentional ingestions) to grade injury severity, determine treatment options, and assess prognosis; however, it is generally best performed within 24 hours post ingestion to avoid risk of perforation...
May 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Mary Ann Edens, Jose A Michel, Nathaniel Jones
Half of all Americans will experience a mammalian bite at some time in their life, and the cost of caring for these injuries has reached $160 million annually. Emergency clinicians must consider many factors when making decisions regarding care of these injuries: risk of infection, cost of antibiotics, time of wound healing, cosmetic and functional result, and risk of other injuries or diseases. Knowledge of the current literature and practice guidelines facilitates care for these injuries in the most cost-effective and clinically sound manner...
April 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Nadia Maria Shaukat, Nikolai Copeli, Poonam Desai
Pelvic trauma accounts for only 3% of all skeletal injuries but may have mortality as high as 45% in cases of severe trauma. Significant high-grade-mechanism trauma to the pelvis must always take the abdomen into consideration for evaluation. The focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) examination has been shown to be a valuable tool in assessing the unstable trauma patient with blunt abdominal injury, though its diagnostic utility is much less well-defined than in primary pelvic trauma. This systematic review explores the utility and limitations of the FAST examination in patients with blunt pelvic trauma and discusses the timing for the examination during the trauma survey...
March 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
David L Gutteridge, Daniel J Egan
The care of the HIV-infected patient in the emergency department has changed since the development of highly active antiretroviral therapy. This therapy has resulted in longer life expectancies and increased quality of life for HIV-infected patients, and in cases of treatment compliance and success, virtual elimination of AIDS-associated opportunistic infections. As a result, the emergency clinician is now more often confronted with adverse events related to medication and the diseases associated with aging and chronic disease...
February 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Megan L Rischall, Andrea Rowland-Fisher
Accidental hypothermia is defined as an unintentional drop in core body temperature below 35°C. It can present in any climate and in any season, as it is not always a result of environmental exposure; underlying illnesses or coexisting pathology can play important roles. Although there is some variability in clinical presentation, hypothermia produces a predictable pattern of physiologic responses and clinical manifestations, and effective treatment has yielded many impressive survival case reports. Treatment strategies focus on prevention of further heat loss, volume resuscitation, implementation of appropriate rewarming techniques, and management of cardiac dysrhythmia...
January 2016: Emergency Medicine Practice
Natalie Kreitzer, Opeolu Adeoye
Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage is a true neurological emergency, and its management is made more complicated when patients are anticoagulated, as reversal of anticoagulation must be initiated simultaneously with diagnosis, treatment, and disposition. Recent advances such as newer laboratory testing and rapid computed tomography for diagnosis, blood pressure reduction to reduce hematoma expansion, and new anticoagulant reversal agents may allow for improved outcomes. Management of intracranial pressure is particularly important in anticoagulated patients, as is identifying patients who may benefit from rapid neurosurgical intervention and/or emergent transport to facilities capable of managing this disease...
December 2015: Emergency Medicine Practice
Anne M Messman
Ocular injuries are common in the emergency department, and they are the most frequent cause of noncongenital monocular blindness in children and adults. This review provides evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment, and disposition of patients with all types of ocular trauma, including pain management, the use of antibiotics, cycloplegics, steroids, antifibrinolytics, and patching. Bedside ocular ultrasound has profoundly expanded diagnostic capability, particularly for the multiply injured patient, and routine management and disposition of patients with corneal abrasions has evolved significantly as well...
November 2015: Emergency Medicine Practice
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