Sunday, March 26, 2017

Needle Thoracostomy: Is it Time to Switch to a Longer Needle?

Image Credit: Wikipedia
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Author: Jake Toy, MSIII
Western University of Health Sciences


Needle thoracostomy (NT) is a lifesaving procedure often utilized in pre-hospital settings and emergency departments (ED), and is indicated in cases of tension pneumothorax. Placement of a needle catheter into the pleural space allows for emergent decompression, resulting in restored and/or increased venous return to the right atrium.[1] Placement of a chest tube is the definitive management of a tension pneumothorax following both a successful or failed needle placement. Advance Trauma Life Support (ALTS) guidelines recommend the use of a 14-gauge 5 cm (approx. 2 in) angiocatheter placed in the 2nd intercostal space, midclavicular line (ICS-MCL), inserted at a perpendicular angle to the skin.[2]

Thursday, March 23, 2017

No But Really…How Much Weed Do You Smoke?

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Image Credit: Flickr

Author: Ashley Grigsby, DO, PGY-3
Indiana University, Emergency Medicine/Pediatrics

Case
A 21-year-old female presented with epigastric abdominal pain and severe vomiting for the last three days. She has had similar vomiting episodes before and has had a large workup that was unremarkable for the etiology. She was unable to stay hydrated during this latest episode so she presented to the emergency department (ED). She stated that the only thing that helped her vomiting has been a hot shower. Her vitals were normal except for a heart rate of 112 beats per minute; her exam was unremarkable except for mild epigastric tenderness to palpation. The patient was questioned multiple times alone in the room and denied, multiple times, any marijuana use or other drug use. She was treated symptomatically and improved. On discharge, she was again questioned about drug use and admitted to twice daily marijuana use for the past several years. She was diagnosed with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, counseled on the importance of marijuana cessation, and discharged home in good condition.