thebluntdissection is moving….
DO NOT MISS A BEAT…
thebluntdissection is moving….
DO NOT MISS A BEAT…
An 80 year old male is bought to your ED via ambulance following a syncopal episode. He reports sitting on a church pew, when he apparently collapsed without prior warning. According to bystanders he was unresponsive on the ground looking pale then ‘blue’. He was making some respiratory effort and eventually recovered without intervention.
By the time you examine him, he is alert and oriented (though, amnestic to the actual event). His pulse is 60, he is warm and perfused (with a BP of 138/66). There is no evidence of cardiac failure and his neurological exam is unremarkable. You do note a pacemaker box in his upper left chest and his CXR shows that this is a ‘dual-lead’ variety….
This is his ECG.
I am now 6 weeks into my 6 month anaesthetic secondment. There have been some interesting challenges settling into the new job but I am largely enjoying my time perfecting basic airway manoeuvers, laryngoscopy and playing with some brilliant airway toys (McGrath video laryngoscopes, the AirTraq, intubating LMAs etc). I thought I’d share with you a case (from Anaesthetic week 2) that presenting some multifaceted challenges & several points of reflection …
A 59 year old male undergoes an elective radical prostatectomy. He is previously well, however takes some ‘herbal Chinese medicines’ that he stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery. His surgery appears to go without a hitch, except for the 1200mL of blood in the surgical suction container at the end of the case. He has received 2 liters of Hartmann’s & 500mL Volvuven during his OT time. He is extubated and taken to recovery at the end of the case where he reports feeling quite comfortable.
I am called back to recovery about 20-25 minutes later to address his hypotension. Continue reading
A 3 week old infant is bought into your ED late at night. She is febrile and looks incredibly unwell. Her parents report a 36 hour history of increasing vomiting and poor oral intake. She has not had a wet nappy for 12 hours or so and the parents now report a fever of 39.5*C.
She was born at 39 weeks gestation following an unremarkable pregnancy and delivery. They were only in hospital for 2 days as everything was going so well…..
When you approach this child in resus, you immediately identify that she is in a whole world of trouble. She is flat and listless, tachypnoeic at 70/min (with moderate work of breathing) and tachycardic at 204 bpm. Her capillary return is 5-6 seconds and her skin is mottled. Her abdomen is quite obviously distended.
Amongst the flurry of activity at the bedside the following x-ray is taken….
What’s going on here ?
What are your differentials ??
What are you going to do next ???
A 7 year old boy presents to your ED with a 3-4 day history of fevers, nausea and vomiting. There is some associated non-specific abdominal pain. He has a history of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. His blood glucose at triage is reading ‘HI’ and his finger-prick ketones are 6.4 mmol/L. He is therefore taken through to your resus bay, where you achieve IV access and get the following set of results…
How do you approach this child ?
What are your principles of management ??
Would your approach be different if he was 37 years old ??? Continue reading
It’s night shift & you’ve received handover of an entire department. You plug on and start chipping away at the waiting-list that doesn’t seem ever get any shorter….
At 3am your nursing staff alert you to an 11 year old female who just isn’t getting any better. She was admitted under Paediatrics on the evening shift with 24 hours of vomiting (no diarrhoea) & had failed her trial of fluid. Whilst she is waiting for a paediatric ward bed she has continued to vomit a further 8-10 times and is complaining of severe epigastric pain. She had used up all her available antiemetics and analgesics on her medication chart…
She looks miserable, crying in pain and clutching at her abdomen. She is slightly tachycardic (otherwise normal observations). Her abdomen is non-distended but exquisitely tender with percussion tenderness and rebound. She has reduced bowels sounds. There is a scar in her RIF indicating a previous open appendicectomy ( ~18 months earlier).
You review her bloods (WCC 16, otherwise unremarkable) and her urinalysis is normal.
Despite further boluses of morphine, she continues to vomit and complain of severe pain….so, you order an abdominal xray.
What’s going on here ?
What are you going to do now ??
A 36 year old male presents through your sub-acute area with increasing facial pain & swelling. He reports a simple trip and fall 18 hours earlier (no alcohol on board, recalls all events), where his right cheek struck a concrete step. He had no LOC at the time, and has no historical features concerning for intracranial injury.
He is worried today as the swelling ‘just keeps getting worse’.
On examination he has obvious marked right zygomatic/maxillary swelling and ecchymoses. His cranial nerves are ok (particularly extra-occular movements and facial sensation). When you palpate his facial bones, for find something unexpected which leads you to expediting his CT scan….
What has happened here ?
What other injuries may have been sustained ??
What do you do next ???
A 25 year old registered nurse presents to her GP with a 6 day history of abnormal vision, which she noticed whilst checking her blind-spot when driving. This has been accompanied by painful extraocular movements & the sensation that her right eyelid was drooping. She has had a recent viral URTI & has been quite stressed at work with a pending presentation and upcoming exams….
She has been referred to your ED today (by the Ophthalmologist) with the following visual field examination
** hence the "droopy eyelid" **
On examination, her pupils are equal & reactive directly, but there is a positive Marcus-Gunn reflex on the right side. VA 6/5 on (L) & 6/18 on (R). Normal EOM, but reports pain in the right eye with lateral gaze (“like a tight cord pulling”).
She is holding a letter from the Ophthalmologist which states, “please start treatment!”
What’s the diagnosis ?
What are we treating & why ??
A 38 year old male presents to your ED with left sided chest heaviness which radiates to his left shoulder & down the arm. He has associated dyspnoea, nausea & vomiting. He looks unwell.
He underwent a CT-Coronary Angiogram 4 months earlier showing a Calcium-Score of 450 !! (‘Extensive plaque burden’. 8x increase in Framingham predicted risk). However, a Sestamibi study performed at the same time showed no evidence of inducible ischaemia.
This is his ECG…
What’s your interpretation ?
Is it significant ??
Where do you go from here ???
A 22 year old male is retrieved to ED after a nasty workplace accident where he was pinned between a truck and wayward forklift. He had sustained injuries to his head/face, upper thorax and perineum, however our most significant concern was regarding his right lower limb. He had a displaced, angulated compound femur fracture that required sedation and pre-hospital reduction. There were reports of significant bleeding at the scene.
No immediate interventions were required following his primary survey, but his right limb revealed a nasty tissue defect and open fracture (now splinted). There was no active blood loss, but his leg distal to the injury was pale and cold with no appreciable dorsalis pedis or posterior tibial pulses.
Here are his initial xrays….
As there was concerns regarding intraabdominal and pelvic injuries; he was taken to radiology for CT, including angiography of his lower limbs….