UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Orthopedics

Title: Medial Elbow Instability

Keywords: thrower, insability (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/23/2018 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

25yo baseball pitcher presents with medial elbow pain. He felt a painful “pop” and could not continue to throw (due to loss of speed and control). Mild paresethesias in 4th and 5th digits.

 

What physical examination maneuvers can you do at the bedside to assist in the diagnosis?

               Exam opposite elbow first to establish baseline and to assist patient relaxation and understanding.

Flexing elbow to 20 to 30 degrees unlocks the olecranon

  1. Valgus stress test – flex elbow with forearm/hand supinated. Apply valgus stress test and note for laxity/firm endpoint.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXQxH0UTn-8

  1. Milking maneuver – Here the valgus stress is created by pulling on the patient’s thumb with the forearm supinated and elbow flexed to 90°. Note instability, pain, or apprehension.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sa9goJ4afs

or

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwigwaZxBXE

  1. Moving valgus stress test – Similar to the milking maneuver, the valgus stress test is applied while the elbow is ranged through full flexion and extension. Note instability, pain, or apprehension in mid range (between 70 and 120 degrees)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnkkHpG3Dqg

 


Originally described a Dr. West in 1841 – it is a rare (~1200 cases annually)  seizure disorder in young kids, generally less than 1 year old.  Very subtle appearance, often with only bending forward or ‘jerking’ of the extremities as opposed to Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (BRUE) or tonic-clonic in description.  The spasms can be thought of as a syndrome, where 70% of those have an undiagnosed rare metabolic/genetic disease.

A prompt evaluation, including labs, EEG, MRI, metabolic and genetic studies is vital in helping to establish a diagnosis which can have a profound impact on the patients prognosis. Examples might include Tuberous Sclerosis, Pyridoxine Dependent Seizures among over 50 others.

Bottom line: In pediatric patients less than 1 year old who present to the Emergency Department with a description of spasm-like episodes, consider Infantile Spasms on the differential, and consult your friendly neighborhood Pediatric Neurologist for help in determining a proper disposition.

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Ibuprofen use and infants

Keywords: Fever, pain control, ibuprofen, acetaminophen (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/21/2018 by Jenny Guyther, MD
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

Ibuprofen is an effective antipyretic and analgesic and children.  In the US, ibuprofen is not used in children less than 6 months due to safety concerns involving adverse GI effects, risk of renal failure, increased risk of necrotizing infections and Rey syndrome.   The British National Formulary, however, does provide dosing guidance for infants aged 1-3 months.
This study was a retrospective review looking at infant's age less than 6 months who were prescribed ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  The rate of adverse GI and renal events were compared between both the ibuprofen and acetaminophen group. 
GI adverse events were mild including vomiting, moderate with abdominal pain and gastritis. Renal adverse events included acute or chronic renal failure.
GI and renal adverse events were not higher in infants younger than 6 months who are prescribed ibuprofen compared to those age 6-12 months.  Adverse events were increased in children younger than 6 months to her prescribed Motrin compared to acetaminophen alone.
Bottom line: Remain cautious about adverse GI and renal events in children age less than 6 months when using ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen.  However, there is no difference in adverse events when ibuprofen is used in children younger than 6 months compared with those older than 6 months.

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Category: Toxicology

Title: A Bad Natural "High"

Keywords: Anticholinergic, Plant (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/20/2018 by Kathy Prybys, DO
Click here to contact Kathy Prybys, DO

Question

A 19 year old male presents confused and very agitated complaining of seeing things and stomach pain. His friends report he ingested a naturally occurring plant to get high a few hours ago but is having a "bad trip".  His physical exam :

Temp 100.3, HR 120, RR 14, BP 130/88. Pulse Ox 98%.

Skin: Dry, hot , flushed

HEENT: Marked mydriasis 6mm

Lungs: Clear

Heart: Tachycardic

Abdomen: Distended tender suprapubic with absent bowel sounds,

Neuro: Extremely agitated pacing, no muscular rigidity.

What has he ingested and what is the treatment?

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Sedating Mechanically Ventilated Patients

  • Providing appropriate analgesia and sedation to mechanically ventilated patients is of paramount importance.
  • In a recent systematic review and meta-analysis, Stephens et al. assessed the impact of deep sedation within the first 48 hours of initiation of mechanical ventilation.
  • In 9 studies that included over 4,500 patients, deep sedation within the first 48 hours of initiation of mechanical ventilation was associated with increased mortality, increased ICU LOS, and increased frequency of delirium.
  • Take Home Points
    • When possible, target lighter levels of sedation in mechanically ventiilated patients.
    • Though no universally accepted definition of light sedation exists, most studies use a RASS of -2 to +1

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: CDC Guideline on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Among Children

Keywords: Concussion, minor head injury, traumatic brain injury, mTBI (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/14/2018 by Mimi Lu, MD
Click here to contact Mimi Lu, MD

Takeaways

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidelines on the diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI**) among children. From 2005-2009, children made almost 3 million ED visits for mTBI. Based on a systemic review of the literature, the guideline includes 19 sets of recommendations on the diagnosis, prognosis, and management/treatment of pediatric mTBI.

Key Recommendations:

1. Do not routinely image patients to diagnose mTBI (utilize clinical decision rules to identify children at low risk and high risk for intracranial injury (ICI), e.g. PECARN)

2. Use validated, age-appropriate symptoms scales to diagnose mTBI

3. Assess evidence-based risk factors for prolonged recovery.  No single factor is strongly predictive of outcome.

4. Provide patients with instructions on return to activity customized with their symptoms (see CDC Resources below)

5.  Counsel patients to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than 2-3 days of rest.

 

A wealth for information and tools for provder and families can be found at:

www.cdc.gov/HEADSUP (including evaluation forms and care plans for providers)

www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/PediatricmTBIGuideline.html

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Anaphylatoid reaction to IV N-acetylcysteine

Keywords: anaphylactoid reaction, IV NAC (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/13/2018 by Hong Kim, MD, MPH (Emailed: 9/14/2018)
Click here to contact Hong Kim, MD, MPH

Analphylatoid reaction is caused by non-IgE mediated histamine released. Intravenous N-acetylcysteine (NAC) infusion is well known to cause analphylatoid reaction. However, it’s incidence is unknown.

Recently, a large retrospective study of all patients who received 21-hour IV NAC in 34 Canadian hospitals (1980 to 2005) was performed. 

Anaphylactoid reaction was documented in 528 (8.2%) of 6455 treatment courses

  • Cutaneous reaction (urticarial, pruritus and angioedema) occurred in 398 (75.4%)
  • Systemic reaction (respiratory symptoms or hypotension): 34 (6.4%)
  • Both reactions: 96 (18.2%)

Over 90% patients developed analphylatoid reaction within 5 hours.

Onset of reaction: 

  • 1stNAC dosing (150 mg/kg over 1 hour): 133/528
  • 2ndNAC dosing (50 mg/kg over 4 hours): 371/528
  • 3rdNAC dosing (100 mg/kg over 16 hours): 24/528

Administered medication for treatment

  • Antihistamine: 371
  • Beta-2 agonist: 15
  • Epinephrine: 10
  • Corticosteroids: 7

Patient characteristics that were associated with higher incidence of Anaphylactoid reaction includes

  • Female
  • Single acute ingestion
  • Low serum acetaminophen level.

 

Bottom line

  1. Anaphylactoid reaction to NAC is uncommon
  2. Cutaneous symptoms are most common
  3. Female, single acute ingestion and low serum acetaminophen levels are associated with incidence of anaphylactoid reaction. 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Sodium Bicarbonate in Severe Metabolic Acidosis

Keywords: acidosis, acidemia, sodium bicarbonate, shock (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/11/2018 by Kami Hu, MD
Click here to contact Kami Hu, MD

The recently published BICAR-ICU study looked at the use of bicarb in critically ill patients with severe metabolic acidemia...

  • Multicenter, open-label, RCT, 26 French ICUs
  • Adult patients with pH < 7.2 not secondary to hypercapnia, serum bicarb < 20 not due to bicarb wasting process 
  • SOFA score > 4 or lactate > 2
  • No bicarb versus 4.2% sodium bicarb infusion titrated to pH >7.3
  • Primary outcome: Composite measure of 28-mortality and presence of any organ failure at 7 days post-randomization
  • Secondary outcomes: Need for/length of life support measures (renal-replacement, vasopressors, mechanical ventilation), SOFA score after enrollment, electrolyte effects, occurrence of ICU-acquired infections, and ICU length of stay
  • Major findings:
    • No difference in primary outcome overall
    • No difference in pressor-free days, days off RRT, dialysis dependence at ICU discharge, ICU LOS
    • Bicarb group had less need for RRT during ICU stay (35 vs 52%, p=0.0009)
    • In patients with AKI and AKIN score 2-3*, the bicarbonate group had a decrease in both 28-day mortality (46 vs 63%, p=0.0166) and presence of any organ failure at day 7 (66 vs 82%, p=0.0142)
  • Limitations:
    • Unblinded
    • A quarter of the control group actually received bicarb
    • No data regarding vent settings, ABGs to r/o ventilation effects on pH
    • 4.2% is not a standard concentration of bicarb used in the U.S.

Bottom Line

Consider administration of sodium bicarbonate for your critically ill ED patients with severe metabolic acidosis and AKI, especially if acidosis &/or renal function is not improved with usual initial measures (such as IVF, etc).

 

 

*Acute Kidney Injury Network Staging Criteria

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Category: Orthopedics

Title: Froment's Sign

Keywords: Ulnar nerve (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/9/2018 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 9/23/2018)
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Froment’s Sign

Tests for motor weakness of the Ulnar nerve

Patient asked to hold piece of paper in both hands, grasping with the thumb and radial side of index finger of both hands

Examiner then pulls on the paper

Test is positive if patient flexes the thumb IP join in an attempt to hold onto paper

 

https://handlab.com/resources/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/June-2013-No25.jpg

 


Does Lactated Ringer's Raise Serum Lactate?

  • Intravenous fluid administration is a cornerstone of resuscitation and the treatment of many critically ill ED patients.
  • Recent publications have suggested that balanced crystalloid solutions may be better than 0.9% normal saline (NS) for select conditions.
  • Lactated Ringer's (LR) is a common balanced crystalloid solution often used for fluid resuscitation in critically ill patients.
  • AS LR contains approximately 28 mmol/L of sodium lactate, the question of whether LR elevates serum lacate is frequently asked.
  • In a recent small, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial, investigators randomized healthy volunteers to receive 30 ml/kg of either 0.9% NS or LR. The authors report no statistical difference in the mean serum lactate when comparing LR to 0.9% NS.

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Many elderly patients have thin skin making suture repair of lacerations difficult. Consider using Steri-Strips™ in combination with sutures to close fragile skin tears.

1. Apply Steri-Strips™ perpendicular to the wound in order to approximate skin edges.

2. Place sutures through both the applied Steri-Strips™ and skin and knot the suture.

This technique will help prevent the suture from tearing the skin as the tension of the suture will be distributed across the surface area of the Steri-Strips™.

 

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Takeaways

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require broad spectrum antibiotics to be administered within 3 hours of presentation of sepsis to be in compliance with the sepsis measure. 

 

Not only do the antibiotics that are chosen determine compliance with this measure, but the order in which antibiotics are given can also significantly affect compliance. 

 

According to CMS, for combination antibiotic therapy, both antibiotics must be started within the three hours following presentation; however, they do not need to be completely infused within this time frame. 

 

Combination therapy typically includes a monotherapy antibiotic (see list in detailed information below) plus vancomycin (daptomycin or linezolid could also be used). 

 

So which antibiotic should be given first? 

 

If a monotherapy antibiotic is given first within the 3 hours of presentation, then compliance for the sepsis measure is met.  These antibiotics cover a broader range of bacteria and are typically infused over ~30 minutes, which allows plenty of time for your second antibiotic to be initiated.  

 

If vancomycin is given first, compliance with this measure can become difficult. First, vancomycin has a narrower spectrum of activity and is not a monotherapy antibiotic. Second, vancomycin infusion rates range from 1 to 2 hours.  Given that antibiotics are usually given after sepsis is flagged, this infusion rate only gives a short period of time for the second antibiotic to be initiated. Thus, vancomycin should almost always be the second antibiotic infused. 

 

In addition, patients may also have limited intravenous access or antibiotics may not be compatible with resuscitation fluids.  All of these factors together must be considered when trying to gain compliance with this measure. 

 

Take-Home Point: 

Administer monotherapy antibiotics (e.g. piperacillin/tazobactam and cefepimeprior to administering vancomycin in your septic patients to improve compliance with the sepsis measure. 

 
 

 

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  • Migraine diagnosis should only be made after other serious intracranial diagnoses have been ruled out.
  • Pediatric migraine is a difficult diagnosis to make before the age of 7 years, due to communication difficulties
  • Avoid opiates and barbiturates. They have not proven to be effective, and have been shown to decrease the effectiveness of future triptan treatments. 
  • First line treatment for mild to moderate migraines is acetaminophen and/or NSAID's.  The addition of caffeine, has been shown to potentiate the analgesic effects of both.
  • First line treatment for moderate to severe migraines is triptans.
  • Most pediatric migraines presenting to the ED, are severe migraines that have failed the above abortive home treatments and have persisted for 24+ hours.  These patients often require intravenous therapy.
  • Dopamine receptor antagonist, specifically Prochlorperazine, 0.15mg/kg, 10mg max, has demonstrated the greatest effectiveness. Consider administration with diphenhydramine, 1mg/kg, 50mg max to prevent dystonic reactions.
  • Concomitant dexamethasone, 0.6mg/kg, 20mg max administration has been shown to decrease acute recurrence.
  • If prochlorperazine fails, other alternatives include Sumatriptan, 5-20mg IN, 50-100mg PO and lidocaine, 0.5mL of 4% solution IN.
  • IVF hydration, and reduction of light and sound stimuli may be helpful.

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Muscle weakness

Keywords: Weakness (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/2/2018 by Kathy Prybys, DO (Emailed: 8/31/2018) (Updated: 8/31/2018)
Click here to contact Kathy Prybys, DO

Takeaways

 A 68 year old male presents to the ED complaining of weakness to his legs. He states today his yard chores took him over 2 hours to complete instead of the usual 15-20 minutes due need to take frequent breaks for rest due to leg pain. He denied any chest pain or shortness of breath. Past medical history included hypercholesteremia, HTN,  and CAD. He is taking aspirin and recently started on rosuvastatin.

His physical exam was unremarkable.

Results showed normal EKG and CBC. Bun was 70, Creatinine was 3.4, and CPK of 1025.

This patient has statin induced rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure.

Take Home Points:

  • Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by muscle necrosis which causes the release of myoglobin into the bloodstream.
  • Clinical manifestations can range from asymptomatic elevation of CPK to life-threatening cases with extremely high CPK levels, electrolyte imbalance, and acute renal failure.
  • Classic triad is: muscle aches and pains, weakness, and tea-colored urine.
  • Numerous recreational drugs, pharmaceuticals, and toxins can alter myocyte function. Ethanol, statins, and cocaine in particular have high risk to cause rhabdomyolysis.
  • 50% of cases of statin-induced-rhabdomyolysis were due to drug interactions.

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Kohler’s disease

Osteonecrosis of the tarsal navicular bone

Affects children ages 4 to 7

               4x more likely in males

Can be painless or present with arch/midfoot pain and a limp (usually activity related)

               Usually unilateral but can be bilateral (in up to 25%)

PE: Tenderness to palpation over the length of the arch esp the medial navicular

Swelling, warmth, redness

               -Can be misdiagnosed as an infection

X-ray: Sclerosis, collapse/flattening or fragmentation of navicular

Treatment: Walking boot or short leg cast

http://www.texasfootdoctor.org/images/kohlers%20xray.jpg

 


Various intial doses of naloxone (0.4 to 2 mg) are administered to reverse the signs and symptoms of opioid toxicity. However, there is limited data regarding the duration of action of naloxone is correlated to the administered dose.

A recently published retrospective study investigated whether initial naloxone doses (IV), low-dose (0.4 mg) vs. high-dose (1-2 mg), lead to different time to recurrence of opioid toxicity.

 

Study sample: 274 patient screened but 84 patients were included.

  1. Low-dose naloxone (0.4 mg IV): 42
    • Mean age: 50
    • History of opiod/heroin use: 33 (78.6%)
    • Positive opioid/opiate on drug screening: 27 (64%)
    • Median time to repeat naloxone dose: 72 min (IQR: 46 - 139)
    • 12 patients (29%) required continuous naloxone infusion

 

  1. High-dose naloxone (1 - 2 mg IV): 42
  • Mean age: 48
  • History of opiod/heron use: 32 (76.2%)
  • Positive opioid/opiate on drug screening: 26 (62%)
  • Median time to repeat naloxone dose: 77 min (IQR: 44 - 126)
  • 17 patients (41%) required continuous naloxone infusion

Higher rate of adverse effects (withdrawal symptoms - vomiting, agitation, tachycardia, etc.) were observed in high-dose group (41% vs. 31%) but this was not statistically signficant. 

Conclusion:

  1. High-dose naloxone (1 - 2 mg) does not result in longer duration of reversal of opioid toxicity.
  2. Duration of opioid toxicity reversal by naloxone administration were similar to previously reported duration of action of naloxone (30 to 90 min).
  3. Note: there are several lmitations to the study study including retrospective design - documentation issues, small sample size, patient selection - patients were included if positive response to naloxone was observed, unknown opioid exposure, variable dosing in high-dose group (1 to 2 mg vs. 0.4 mg) and naloxone was given via IV only.   

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Category: Neurology

Title: Weakness.. and a rash?

Keywords: shingles, weakness, infection (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/22/2018 by Danya Khoujah, MBBS (Updated: 9/23/2018)
Click here to contact Danya Khoujah, MBBS

In patients presenting with acute weakness of the limb or trunk, be sure to ask about history of shingles or rash. They may have segmental zoster paresis.

Patients may develop weakness in a myotomal distribution similar to the dermatomal sensory symptoms and rash. However, weakness may develop up to 4 weeks after the rash, making the connection between the two presentations less apparent. 

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Critical Post-Arrest Interventions

  • Critical interventions to optimize neurologic outcome in the post-cardiac arrest patient include optimizing hemodynamics, preventing lung injury, maintaining normal O2 and CO2 tensions, targeted temperature management, and treating the underlying cause of the arrest.
  • Current guidelines recommend the following:
    • Target MAP > 70 mm Hg with IVFs, vasopressors, and inotropes.
    • Use a low tidal volume strategy of 6 to 8 ml/kg predicted body weight.
    • Decrease FiO2 to maintain SpO2 94% to 97%.
    • Adjust RR to maintain PaCO2 35 to 45 mm Hg
    • Initiate TTM with the goal temperature between 32 to 36o C

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Is there an association between pulmonary aspiration, vomiting or any serious adverse event and the preprocedural fasting time?

The odds ratio of any adverse event did not increase significantly with each additional hour of fasting duration for both solids and liquids. 

The guidelines set by the American Society of Anesthesiology for fasting include a minimum of 2 hours for clear liquids, 4 hours for breast milk, 6 hours for formula and light meals and 8 hours for solid meals containing fatty foods or meat.

This was a secondary analysis of a multicenter prospective cohort study of children 0-18 years who received procedural sedation in 6 Canadian pediatric emergency departments from 2010-2015.  6183 children were included with 99.7% meeting ASA 1 or 2 categories.  2974 patients did not meet the American Society of Anesthesiology fasting guidelines for solids and 510 patients did not meet the fasting guidelines for liquids.  The overall incidence of adverse events was 11.6%.  There were no cases of pulmonary aspiration.  There was a total of 717 adverse events.  315 events were vomiting.  Oxygen and vomiting were the most common adverse events. 

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Category: Critical Care

Title: Epinephrine in OHCA

Keywords: Resuscitation, OHCA, prehospital medicine, cardiac arrest, epinephrine (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/14/2018 by Kami Hu, MD (Updated: 9/23/2018)
Click here to contact Kami Hu, MD

Takeaways

The highly-awaited PARAMEDIC2 trial results are in:

  • Multicenter, double-blinded, randomized controlled trial of prehospital OHCA care
  • 1mg IV epinephrine vs saline placebo, every 3-5 minutes
  • 8014 OHCA patients over the age of 16 (excluded pregnant patients, anaphylactic and asthmatic cardiac arrests)
  • Primary outcome: 30 day survival
  • Secondary outcomes: 
    • Survival to hospital admission
    • ICU and hospital LOS
    • Survival to hospital discharge and at 3 months
    • Neurologic outcomes at hospital discharge and at 3 months, "favorable" if mRS≤3
  • Results: 
    • Higher 30 day survival in Epi group (3.2 vs 2.4%, unadj OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.82; P=0.02)
    • No difference in ICU or hospital LOS
    • No difference in favorable neurologic outcomes at discharge or 3 month
    • Worse neurologic outcomes in the epinephrine survivors (mRS 4 or 5 in 31% of epi group vs. 17.8% of placebo)

 

Interestingly, the authors also queried the public as to what mattered to them most: 

 

Bottom Line:

  • As has been demonstrated in previous studies, use of bolus-dose epinephrine results in increased rates of ROSC. 
  • This survival comes with the trade-off of worsened neurologic function, a condition not in a majority of patients' personal wishes.
  • Epinephrine "1mg every 3-5 minutes'" should no longer be the dogma of OHCA resuscitation.

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