Thursday, June 22, 2017

Image of the Month (From August/September 2011 Issue of Modern Resident)

Author: Casey Grover, MD
Stanford/Kaiser Emergency Medicine
Originally Published: Modern Resident, August/September 2011

A 17 month old female is brought to the ED by her mother for emesis and fever. The mother thinks that her daughter may have swallowed something last night because the child had made a "wheezing sound" while breathing and appeared uncomfortable. There was no witnessed ingestion. The child appears well with normal vital signs and is playful and interactive. Her physical exam, including pulmonary examination, is normal.

You order a PA and lateral chest X-ray. What does it show?

Image Credit: Modern Resident
  1. A coin in the esophagus
  2. A coin in the trachea
  3. A bottle cap in the esophagus
  4. A button battery in the esophagus
Click here for the answer.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tell Me More: The Basics of Child Forensic Interviewing

Image Credit: Pixabay
This post was peer reviewed.
Click to learn more.


Author: Michelle Mitchell, MD, PGY-1
Duke University Medical Center

Posterior rib fractures in infants. Burns on the buttocks and legs. Mechanism of injury that is not consistent with developmental age. Most physicians will recognize these potential red flags of child abuse. However, many emergency medicine physicians have received little training on how to interview children who present with injuries concerning for child abuse. As physicians, we are not expected to definitively determine if child abuse has occurred. Instead, we often report suspected cases and leave the investigation to the authorities. It is thus important to obtain and document a thorough history in the medical record as it may be used in future court proceedings.

It is imperative that physicians have general knowledge about forensic child interviewing, as the method of interviewing may greatly impact the information that a child provides. Most models of child forensic interviewing have three stages.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Unexpected Patient Demise in the Emergency Department

Image Credit: Pixabay
Author: Victoria Weston, MD
2015-2016 RSA President
Originally published: Common Sense January/February 2016

I could hear the wails of grief coming from our trauma bay. It was the start of my shift, and the prior team had recently terminated an unsuccessful resuscitation. The patient had been chronically ill and had collapsed while checking in at our triage desk. Although the patient had cancer and had been unwell for years, his family was shocked and devastated by their sudden, unexpected loss.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Image of the Month (From August/September 2013 Modern Resident)

Author: Michael Gottlieb, MD
Cook County Emergency Medicine Residency
Originally Published: Modern Resident, August/September 2013

An 81-year-old man with PMHx of HTN, DM, HL and OA s/p right hip replacement presents to the ED with acute onset CP and SOB x 1 day. While watching TV earlier, he developed a sudden inability to catch his breath, as well as some poorly localized, pleuritic chest tightness on the right side of his chest. He initially attributed this to reflux, but when it did not improve he drove himself to the ED.

His initial vitals are: Temp: 98.2, HR: 56, BP: 132/78, RR: 28, O2 Sat: 89%. Upon examination, he is in moderate distress, appreciably tachypneic and has to stop halfway through his sentences to catch his breath. The remainder of his exam is significant only 2+ pitting edema bilaterally. Labs are pending, a chest X-ray is ordered and his ECG is shown below.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Photo of the Month (From Apr/May 2013 Issue of Modern Resident)

Author: ENS Dylan Hendy, MSIV
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Author: LT Christopher D. Helman, DO
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
Originally Published: Modern Resident, April/May 2013

Patient Vignette
Twenty-nine-year-old male was sent to the ED by a community clinic for a syncopal episode. The patient originally visited the clinic for a headache that resulted from a shelf falling on the back of his head while working in his garage two days earlier. The patient denies losing consciousness, amnesia, disorientation or N/V. However, upon further questioning the patient described an unwitnessed episode of “blacking out” while sitting in his car today. He states this episode may have lasted for 30-60 minutes. The clinic subsequently sent the patient to the ED for further workup. In the ED the patient explained that he has a history of chronic headaches and that his headache at present is similar with regards to onset, location and duration. However, to the best of his knowledge, today’s unwitnessed syncopal episode was a first time occurrence. Further ROS were negative. The patient has no other pertinent PMH and is taking no medications. Complete physical exam was unremarkable. A workup for a closed head injury and syncopal episode was performed. Laboratory data was WNL. Non-contrast CT head and CXR were both unremarkable. The following ECG was obtained:

Image Credit: Modern Resident

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bark Scorpion Stings

This post was peer reviewed.
Click to learn more.

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

Centruroides sculpturatus, also known as the bark scorpion, is a type of venomous scorpion found in the Southwestern United States, i.e. Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. The majority of these stings occur in Arizona, with a reported 3,498 emergency department (ED) visits in 2010.[1] The bark scorpion’s venom is a neurotoxin that works at axonal sodium channels causing excessive acetylcholine release in the neuromuscular junction. The clinical syndrome is most pronounced in young children, especially under 10 years old, who are most susceptible to the toxin. From 2005-2015, there were 185,000 scorpion calls to the poison centers nationally, 68% from Arizona.[1] Multiple other southwestern states were included in these calls; however, Arizona had the highest rate of neurologic and respiratory symptoms, and hospital admission.

Blog Staff, Reviewers, & Mentors

Thank you to our 2017-2018 peer review & editorial team!

AAEM/RSA Leadership:

Ashely Alker, MD
AAEM/RSA President
University of California San Diego Medical Center

Mike Wilk, MD
AAEM/RSA Vice President
Brown University

Michael Hight, MD
AAEM/RSA Secretary-Treasurer
Naval Medical Center San Diego

Mary Haas, MD
AAEM/RSA Immediate Past President
University of Michigan

AAEM/RSA Blog Leadership:

Aaron Tyagi, MD
Blog Editor-in-Chief
Social Media Committee Chair
Michigan State University - ‎Sparrow Health System

Jake Toy, MS4
Copy Editor
Social Media Committee Vice Chair 
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

Elaine H. Brown, MD
RSA Board Liaison to the Social Media Committee
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Janet Wilson, CAE
Executive Director, AAEM/RSA

Laura Burns, MA

Senior Communications Manager, AAEM

Cassidy Davis
Communication Manager, AAEM

Madeleine Hanan, MSM
Administrative Manager, AAEM/RSA

Publications Mentors:

Attending physicians or fellows who have agreed to help authors and reviewers learn about and navigate the publications process. Interested attendings/fellows can contact

Michael Epter, MD
Laleh Gharahbaghian, MD
Nikita Joshi, MD
Arayel Osborne, MD
Andrew Phillips, MD MEd
Loice Swisher, MD

Peer Reviewers:

Elaine H. Brown, MD
Bill Christian
Ashley Grigsby, MD
Caleb Larsen
Jennifer Reink, MD
Jake Toy
Aaron C. Tyagi, MD