UMEM Educational Pearls - By Reginald Brown

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Hyperpronation

Keywords: Pediatrics, Hyperpronation, Radial Head Subluxation, Nursemaid (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/21/2010 by Reginald Brown, MD (Updated: 5/22/2010)
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Hyperpronation: This reduction technique for a nursemaid's elbow (radial head subluxation)  has been found to have better first attempt success than classic supination/flexion technique.  (Pediatrics July '98).  Support the elbow with a finger on the radial head, and forcefully hyperpronate.  

  • Technique may be less painful as well.  
  • Reexamine after five minutes, and normal function should be returned
  • Xrays are generally unnecessary unless history and physical are not consistent with nursemaid's elbow, symptoms for greater than 12 hours, or reductions attempts are unsuccessful
  • Supination/Flexion may be attempted after two failed hyperpronation attempts 


1005212340_Hyperpronation_technique.jpg (54 Kb)

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Adolescent Consent

Keywords: Adolescent Consent, EMTALA (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/16/2010 by Reginald Brown, MD (Updated: 5/7/2010)
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EMTALA stipulates that any patient presenting to the Emergency Department is required to receive a medical screening exam regardless of age, ability to pay, or whether or not a parent accompanies the child.

EMTALA supersedes any state/local provisions or laws.

In performing a medical screening exam if an emergency medical condition exists then diagnostic testing, surgery or even transfer of hospitals may be appropriate without ever obtaining parental consent

MInors have the right to give or refuse informed assent of a procedure

If their is conflict between physician, parent or patient in the rendering of emergent care the physician must weigh the severity of the condition, risks and benefits of the treatment, as well as the patients maturity and cognition.  The physician may have to seek ethical committee review, or assistance from either social services or the court system.

If an emergent condition does not exist, EMTALA does not apply after the MSE.

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Precedex for Peds

Keywords: Pediatrics, Sedation (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/27/2010 by Reginald Brown, MD (Updated: 2/26/2024)
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Precedex (Dexmedetomidine) - Great for pediatric imaging procedures

Alpha-2 agonist with sedative properties

No analgesic effect alone, but shown to decrease the amount of opioids required for a painful procedure

Benefits pts go to sleep and awake in a more natural state.  Caregivers tend to prefer this as opposed to other sedatives.  Short recovery time- about 30 minutes

Adverse effects include bradycardia and hypotension.  Not recommended in any child with cardiac abnormalities.  Paradoxical hypertension with loading dose has also been observed

Effective for MRI or CT scans at loading doses of 2mcg/kg over ten minutes, then maintenance of 1mcg/kg/hr

Residents can gain experience with Precedex with Peds sedation on M,W,F mornings with sedation team, contact me to arrange a time for you to participate.

Pediatric Constipation is a common presentation to PED and large percentage of GI clinic patient volume

Defined as less than 2 stools per week for two weeks with hard, large pellet like stools

Broad Differential includes functional constipation (most common), stricture, obstruction, celiac disease, Hirschsprung, hypothyroid, Cow's milk protein allergy, CF and spina bifida.  Always inspect the spine and perform rectal

Success of treatment is based on the aggressive nature of treatment and timing of treatment.  Ttreatment is longer and more difficult if patient has to wait on referral to GI specialist.

  • Clean out with enema and stool softener (miralax BID for two days, followed by daily maintenance regimen is most common)
  • Cheaper and effective regimens include mineral oil, kondremul or lactulose
  • Encourage behavioral therapy with routine toilet time and rewards
  • Increase fiber in diet to 8-10 grams for toddlers, 12-14 preschool and 14-16 for school age
  • Initial treatment is safe and does not require electrolyte monitoring.
  • Failed treatment and bounceback may require GI consult, inpatient Golytely therapy with electrolyte monitoring

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Pediatric Genital Foreign Bodies

Keywords: Pediatric, Genital, Foreign Body (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/18/2009 by Reginald Brown, MD (Updated: 2/26/2024)
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  • 4-5% of Prepubertal Vaginal Complaints are the result of foreign body.
  • Vaginal bleeding is the most sensitive (93%), and specific (82%)
  • Discharge usually foul-smelling is only seen in 18% of patients
  • Undiagnosed symptoms may be chronic, (case reports lasting years).
  • Complications of delayed removal include infection, toxic shock syndrome, fistulas, adhesions and even infertility
  • Exam in knee chest position, and removal with irrigation or tissue forceps.
  • Failure to remove FB may require exam under anesthesia.

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Pediatric Brain Abscess

Keywords: Brain Abscess, Pediatrics (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/19/2009 by Reginald Brown, MD (Updated: 2/26/2024)
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Pediatric Brain Abscess
  • Although rare, it is a serious life threatening entity of pediatric emergency medicine
  • Must be in the differential of those with signs of increased intracranial pressure or focal deficit and hx of sinusitis, mastoiditis or cyanotic congenital heart disease.
  • Investigation and diagnosis primarily with CT scan
  • CSF studies demonstrate sterile fluid with elevated protein, and mildly elevated WBC
  • Antibiotic coverage should be broad Naficillin/Vanc + Ceftriaxone + Metronidazole, until speciation and susceptibilities obtained from surgical specimen
  • Steroids reserved only in cases of imminent herniation
  • Controversy exists over prophylactic anticonvulsants
  • Mortality recently <10% attributed to early diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic coverage.

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Category: Pediatrics

Title: Hypertensive Encephalopathy

Keywords: Pediatrics, hypertension, encephalopathy (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/22/2009 by Reginald Brown, MD
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Hypertensive encephalopathy is generally seen in children with renal disease, e.g. acute glomerulonephritis or ESRD. 

Signs and symptoms include bp >99th percentile for age and height and neurologic impairment.  May present acutely with seizure or coma, or subacute with HA, vomiting, lethargy, blurry vision or change in mental status.  Exam findings may also include papilledema.

MRI may show increased signal in occipital lobes of T2 weighted images, known as reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy.

Treatment is to lower BP by 20-25% for the first 8 hours and to normative levels over 24-48 hrs.  IV therapy with esmolol drip, labetalol or nicardapine are the treatments of choice.  Nitroprusside prudent in most hypertensive adult emergencies must be used cautiously  if history of renal disease secondary to cyanide toxicity. Seizure should also be treated as you would with status epilepticus.


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