Grand Rounds Recap 1.30.19

Grand Rounds Recap 1.30.19

Welcome to another grand rounds recap! This week Dr. Isaac Shaw started us out with the monthly Morbidity and Mortality. Dr. Stolz then dove into some ultrasound QA, covering topics such as knee arthrocentesis and early pregnancy ultrasound. Dr. Murphy followed this up by discussing the science of motivation and how we can use this in the Emergency Department setting. This was followed up with Drs. Modi and Kircher who went head to head in this months CPC on endocarditis. Dr. Irankunda finished up the day with an excellent talk on the retrograde urethrogram. See you next week!

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Spinal Epidural Abscess

Spinal Epidural Abscess

Spinal epidural abscess - what was once a 'white whale’ diagnosis in the Emergency Department, has, with the opiate epidemic and rise in IV drug use, become a consistent specter in our differential diagnoses. Potentially debilitating, potentially deadly, devilishly difficult to diagnose in it’s early stages; spinal epidural abscesses have become a persistent concern for patients presenting to the ED with back pain. Much like syphillis, lupus, and HIV, the response to the question of “could it be a spinal epidural abscess?” is usually “ughh, yeah I guess so.”  In this article, we will briefly cover the pathogenesis and presentation of spinal epidural abscessed and delve more deeply into the question of how best to treat these patients?  What are the triggers for surgical intervention? Are patient’s with neurologic deficits doomed to a life of persistent neurologic disability?

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A Pain in the Neck

A Pain in the Neck

There are some areas in our practice where the literature grants us a somewhat sure path forward in the evaluation of our patients.  The decision whether or not to pursue cervical spine imaging studies following a traumatic mechanism of injury is one of these areas.  The NEXUS criteria and Canadian C-Spine Rule are useful guides for the evaluation of these patients.  What comes after the imaging can be a bit more challenging.  What do we do with patients who have persistent pain but negative imaging? To what extent do we pursue the possibility of a ligamentous injury? Must we wait for all patients to be sober so that we can "clinically clear" them in addition to our radiographic clearance.   The 3 articles below seek to answer some of these challenging questions.  Take a listen to the podcast and read the summaries to familiarize yourself with some of the latest literature addressing these challenging patient care scenarios.

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Approach to Reading MRI of the Spine

Approach to Reading MRI of the Spine

It's another back pain type of day in Minor Care.  3 hours into your shift and you've seen 6 patient's with back pain.  You quickly evaluate them asking them about red flag symptoms, searching for signs of neurologic injury on your physical exam.  As you talk to Jane, your next patient, you get worried she doesn't have simple musculo-ligamentous back pain.  Jane has a history of IVDU and states her last use was 3 months ago.  She cites some subjective fever and chills over the past several days along with aching low back pain which has been getting steadily worse.  On exam, you find she is febrile with a temperature of 101.4, tachycardic to 110, with a normal blood pressure.  She has midline upper lumbar and lower thoracic spinal tenderness to palpation.

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