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Anthony S McLean
Echocardiography is pivotal in the diagnosis and management of the shocked patient. Important characteristics in the setting of shock are that it is non-invasive and can be rapidly applied.In the acute situation a basic study often yields immediate results allowing for the initiation of therapy, while a follow-up advanced study brings the advantage of further refining the diagnosis and providing an in-depth hemodynamic assessment. Competency in basic critical care echocardiography is now regarded as a mandatory part of critical care training with clear guidelines available...
2016: Critical Care: the Official Journal of the Critical Care Forum
Amy Leuthauser, Benjamin McVane
Abdominal pain in the elderly can be a challenging and difficult condition to diagnose and treat. The geriatric population has significant comorbidities and often takes polypharmacy that can mask symptoms. The presentation of common conditions can be different than that in the younger population, often lacking the traditional indicators of disease, making it of pivotal importance for the clinician to consider a wide differential during their workup. It is also important to consider extra-abdominal abnormality that may manifest as abdominal pain...
May 2016: Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America
Jose V Nable, Autumn C Graham
Acute gastrointestinal bleeding is a commonly encountered chief complaint with a high morbidity and mortality. The emergency physician is challenged with prompt diagnosis, accurate risk assessment, and appropriate resuscitation of patients with gastrointestinal bleeding. Goals of care aim to prevent end-organ injury, manage comorbid illnesses, identify the source of bleeding, stop continued bleeding, support oxygen carrying capacity, and prevent rebleeding. This article reviews current strategies for risk stratification, diagnostic modalities, localization of bleeding, transfusion strategies, adjunct therapies, and reversal of anticoagulation...
May 2016: Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America
Alexa R Gale, Matthew Wilson
Diarrhea generates a wide range of diagnostic considerations and has profound individual and public health significance. The setting and circumstances under which a patient presents with diarrhea drastically influences the concern brought to the encounter. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are often provisionally labeled "gastroenteritis" with appropriate expectant management. In resource-poor countries, the significance of diarrhea is even greater. This review focuses on diarrhea and its initial evaluation and management in the emergency department...
May 2016: Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America
David J Carlberg, Stephen D Lee, Jeffrey S Dubin
Although most frequently presenting with lower abdominal pain, appendicitis, colitis, and diverticulitis can cause pain throughout the abdomen and can cause peritoneal and retroperitoneal symptoms. Evaluation and management of lower intestinal disease requires a nuanced approach by the emergency physician, sometimes requiring computed tomography, ultrasonography, MRI, layered imaging, shared decision making, serial examination, and/or close follow-up. Once a presumed or confirmed diagnosis is made, appropriate treatment is initiated, and may include surgery, antibiotics, and/or steroids...
May 2016: Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America
Patrick Robinson, John C Perkins
Epigastric pain is an extremely common complaint in the emergency department and has an associated broad differential diagnosis. In the differential it is important to consider cardiac causes that may be mistaken for gastrointestinal disorders as well as various serious intra-abdominal causes. This article highlights the limitations in laboratory testing and guides providers through the appropriate considerations for advanced imaging. Special attention is focused on acute pancreatitis, esophageal emergencies, and peptic ulcer disease/gastritis and their associated complications...
May 2016: Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America
Sreeja Natesan, Jerry Lee, Heather Volkamer, Traci Thoureen
The chief complaint of abdominal pain accounts for 5% to 10% of all presentations in the emergency department. With such broad differential and diagnostic modalities available, this article focuses on a systematic approach to evaluating abdominal pain, essential to providing patients with efficient and accurate care.
May 2016: Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America
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