Volume 5, Issue 1, 2021
CPC-EM Full-Text Issue
Clinicopathological Cases from the University of Maryland
A 40-year-old female presented to the emergency department (ED) after the acute onset of dyspnea. The patient was tachypneic with accessory muscle usage and diffuse wheezing on initial examination. Despite aggressive treatment, the patient deteriorated and was intubated. This case takes the reader through the differential diagnosis and systematic workup of a patient presenting to the ED with dyspnea and arrives at the unexpected cause for this patient’s presentation.
Introduction: Buprenorphine benefits patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in the emergency department (ED), but its efficacy for OUD patients with suicidal ideation (SI) in the ED is unknown.
Case Series: We present a case series of 14 OUD patients with SI who were given buprenorphine and a referral to outpatient substance use treatment in the ED. All experienced SI resolution, engaged with outpatient services, and remained in outpatient substance use treatment 30 days after ED discharge.
Conclusion: Our data provide evidence for the feasibility of starting buprenorphine in OUD patients with SI in the ED, and suggest that buprenorphine may be useful in helping to resolve SI for these patients. Future research with larger samples is needed.
Introduction: Lung injury associated with the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping (EVALI) was first identified in 2019. Since then, clusters of cases have been reported in the literature. Our aim was to describe the clinical presentation of adolescents with EVALI in the emergency department and their clinical outcomes.
Case Series: In our case series, we identified seven adolescents diagnosed with EVALI. We describe their signs and symptoms on presentation to the emergency department and their clinical course. The most common symptoms on presentation were cough, shortness of breath, and vomiting. Each of these symptoms was seen in 71% of patients (n = 5), although not always together. Sinus tachycardia was noticed in 100% of patients (n = 7) and tachypnea in 85% (n = 6). While 85% (n = 6) required hospitalization for respiratory support, all patients were later discharged home on room air. After the diagnosis of EVALI, 85% of patients (n = 6) were treated with steroids.
Conclusion: EVALI is a new disease with unclear mechanisms that commonly presents with symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, and vomiting. It causes severe respiratory compromise in the adolescent population, requiring hospitalization and respiratory support.
Case Report of Thrombosis of the Distal Aorta with Occlusion of Iliac Arteries in COVID-19 Infection
Introduction: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is responsible for the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has been associated with a variety of prothrombotic sequelae. The pathogenesis of this hypercoagulability has not yet been fully elucidated, but it is thought to be multifactorial with overactivation of the complement pathways playing a central role. There is emerging evidence that the resulting complications are not confined to the venous circulation, and even in patients without typical respiratory symptoms or traditional risk factors, there is a significant rate of arterial thromboembolic disease in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Case Report: We describe a patient presenting with bilateral leg pain without any respiratory symptoms or fever who ultimately was found to be COVID-19 positive and had thromboembolism of the aorta and bilateral iliac occlusion. This report reviews available evidence on the prevalence of arterial thromboembolism in COVID-19 patients and some proposed mechanisms of the pathophysiology of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy.
Conclusion: It is important that the emergency physician maintain a high degree of suspicion for arterial thromboembolic disease in patients who are infected with COVID-19 even in the absence of typical respiratory symptoms. Additionally, COVID-19 should be considered in patients with unexplained thromboembolic disease, as this may increase the detection of COVID-19.
A Case Report of Cerebral Venous Thrombosis as a Complication of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in a Well-appearing Patient
Introduction: While thrombotic complications of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been documented, the overall risk in non-critically ill cases of COVID-19 remains unknown.
Case Report: We report a case of a previously healthy male patient who presented to the emergency department with headache and extremity paresthesia. The patient was diagnosed with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) and found to have a positive COVID-19 test. Inpatient anticoagulation was initiated, and symptoms had largely resolved at discharge.
Conclusion: This case demonstrates the importance of considering thrombotic complications, such as CVT, even in well-appearing COVID-19 patients with no other risk factors for thromboembolic disease.
Introduction: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiology of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has proven to be an era-defining illness with profound impact on patients and healthcare providers alike. By nearly all measures, daily cases and deaths are growing on a global scale despite conscious infection control efforts. As the medical community strives to better understand the pathogenesis of COVID-19, it has become increasingly appreciated that this “respiratory virus” can present clinically with a wide range of signs and symptoms not necessarily confined to the respiratory system.
Case Report: Specifically, the central nervous system has been described as the presenting complaint of COVID-19, including anosmia and headaches and, more rarely, meningitis. This clinical case highlights the presentation of a 52-year-old male who presented to the emergency department with altered mental status and fever, ultimately attributed to COVID-19 infection.
Conclusion: This case serves to add to the growing body of evidence surrounding the potentially severe neuropathologic capabilities of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: A Case Report of Turbulent Blood Flow in Lower Extremity Point-of-care Ultrasound in COVID-19
Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may predispose patients to increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) due to various pathophysiological mechanisms, including but not limited to endothelial injury, inflammation, cytokine-mediated microvascular damage, and reactive thrombocytosis. A high risk of vessel thrombosis correlates with disease severity, making early identification and treatment of prime consideration.Although identification of a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism warrants immediate treatment with anticoagulation, trying to predict which COVID-19 patients may be at increased risk for developing these pathologies is challenging.
Case Reports: We present two cases of patients with COVID-19 who had ultrasonographic findings of turbulent blood flow within the deep venous system, without clear evidence of acute proximal DVT, who were subsequently found to have significant VTE.
Conclusion: Point-of-care lower extremity ultrasound has become one of the core applications used by emergency physicians. Typically we perform compression ultrasound for DVT evaluation. This novel finding of turbulent blood flow, or “smoke,” within the deep venous system, may serve as a marker of increased risk of clot development and could be an indication to consider early anticoagulation.
A Case Report on Distinguishing Emphysematous Pyelitis and Pyelonephritis on Point-of-care Ultrasound
Introduction: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) in the emergency department (ED) is being performed with increasing frequency. The objective of this study was to demonstrate how utilization of POCUS can help the emergency physician recognize emphysematous pyelitis (EP) and emphysematous pyelonephritis (EPN).
Case Report: A 60-year-old female presented to the ED with normal vital signs and intermittent left-sided flank pain that radiated to her groin. She also had a history of obstructive nephrolithiasis. Within 20 minutes of arrival she became febrile (101.2°Fahrenheit), tachycardic (114 beats per minute), tachypneic (21 breaths per minute), and had a blood pressure of 114/82 millimeters mercury. POCUS was conducted revealing heterogeneous artifact with “dirty shadowing” within the renal pelvis, which was strongly suggestive of air. The emergency physician ordered a computed tomography (CT) to confirm the suspicion for EP and started the patient on broad-spectrum antibiotics. The CT showed a 1.3-centimeter calculus and hydronephrosis with foci of air. The patient received intravenous antibiotics and had an emergent nephrostomy tube placed. Urine cultures tested positive for pan-sensitive Escherichia Coli. Urology was consulted and a repeat CT was obtained to show correct drainage and decreased renal pelvis dilation.
Conclusion: Distinctly different forms of treatment are used for EP and EPN, despite both having similar pathophysiology. In EP, air can be seen in the renal pelvis on POCUS, as in this case study, which distinguishes it from EPN. In the case of our patient, the use of POCUS was useful to aid in rapid differentiation between EP and EPN.
- 1 supplemental video
Introduction: When patients present to the emergency department with retained urethral foreign objects, imaging is crucial for identifying and further describing the object(s). Imaging is also important to plan the management and to assess the potential complications of foreign object removal. Ultrasonography is sometimes used for this purpose and can often provide more information on the object and its location and characteristics than plain radiographs.
Case Report: This case report discusses the identification and characterization of a retained urethral foreign object that was not seen on plain radiography.
Conclusion: While ultrasonography has its own limitations, in the cases of retained foreign objects, it can provide preferable imaging and can help guide the management of these patients.
Peer Pressure = Explosive Consequences: A Case Report of Toxic Ingestion of Cyclonite (C-4) Explosive on a Dare
Introduction: We present a case of intentional ingestion of a piece of plastic explosive in a military patient that resulted in tonic-clonic seizure and gastrointestinal illness.
Case Report: Although uncommon, such ingestions have been reported in military journals since the Vietnam War. Access to plastic explosives is generally limited to military personnel, and non-military medical providers may not be familiar with treatment of acute intoxication.
Conclusion: It is imperative to refresh awareness and provide education to heighten suspicion and broaden differential diagnosis for patients presenting with new onset syncope or seizure, particularly in the military population.
Introduction: This case reviews a patient with moyamoya disease, a rare cause of altered mental status. It highlights the importance of maintaining clinical suspicion for uncommon causes of common presentations.
Case Report: A 64-year-old male presented with seizures and persistent altered mental status. Computed tomography demonstrated findings consistent with bilateral ischemia. Cerebral angiography was performed with no thrombus identified but moyamoya disease present.
Conclusion: Although rare, moyamoya should be considered as a potential cause of patients presenting with altered mental status. The case presented also highlights the importance of avoiding common diagnostic biases.
Introduction: Toxicity from rodenticides such as metal phosphides is common worldwide, particularly in developing countries where consumers have access to unlabeled and uncontrolled insecticides and pesticides.
Case Report: We present the first documentation of a metal phosphide exposure in Lebanon. A middle-aged woman presented to the emergency department following the ingestion of an unknown rodenticide. Spectroscopy analysis of the sample brought by the patient was used and helped identify zinc phosphide. The patient developed mild gastrointestinal symptoms and was admitted to the intensive care unit for observation without further complications.
Review: We subsequently conducted a literature review to understand the diagnosis, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and management of metal phosphide toxicity. Multiple searches were conducted on MEDLINE and PubMed, and articles related to the topics under discussion were included in the review. Metal phosphide is associated with significant morbidity and mortality involving all body systems. Patients presenting with metal phosphide intoxication need extensive workup including blood testing, electrocardiogram, and chest radiography. To date there is no antidote for metal phosphide toxicity, and management is mostly supportive. Many treatment modalities have been investigated to improve outcomes in patients presenting with metal phosphide toxicities.
Conclusion: Emergency physicians and toxicologists in developing countries need to consider zinc and aluminum phosphides on their differential when dealing with unlabeled rodenticide ingestion. Treatment is mostly supportive with close monitoring for sick patients. Further research is needed to better understand metal phosphide toxicity and to develop better treatment options.
Introduction: Emergency physicians should be cognizant of complications following common procedures (including dental) and be able to readily care for patients with acute dental pain.
Case Report: A 22-year-old female presented with dental pain and difficulty swallowing that developed 48 hours after she underwent a dental extraction. The physical exam showed an uncomfortable, afebrile female with dysphonia, inability to tolerate secretions, and crepitus over the neck and anterior chest wall.
Discussion: The use of a high-speed dental drill may have caused air to dissect through fascial planes leading to subcutaneous emphysema, or even through deeper planes resulting in pneumomediastinum. It should be noted that subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum are rare complications of dental procedures.
Conclusion: This case highlights an uncommon but potentially life-threatening complication following a routine dental procedure, which emergency clinicians should be attentive to and able to identify and thereby manage.
Introduction: A 20-year-old man with a reported history of asthma presented to the emergency department in cardiac arrest presumed to be caused by respiratory failure.
Case Report: The patient was discovered to have central airway obstruction and concomitant superior vena cava compression caused by a large mediastinal mass—a condition termed mediastinal mass syndrome. While the patient regained spontaneous circulation after endotracheal intubation, he was challenging to ventilate requiring escalating interventions to maintain adequate ventilation.
Conclusion: We describe complications of mediastinal mass syndrome and an approach to resuscitation, including ventilator adjustments, patient repositioning, double-lumen endotracheal tubes, specialty consultation, and extracorporeal life support.
Introduction: Appendicitis is a common disease, and as we have improved in early diagnosis and management of this disease process, late stage complications have become extremely rare, but can have indolent presentations.
Case Report: A 37-year-old male with no past medical history presented to the emergency department (ED) with vague abdominal pain as well as 12 days of cyclical fever. He had no significant findings on laboratory workup with the exception of a mild aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase and relative neutrophilia between outpatient, urgent care, and ultimate ED visit. His ED workup included cross-sectional imaging of his abdomen revealing multiple liver abscesses and septic thrombophlebitis secondary to ruptured appendicitis.
Conclusion: Liver abscesses and septic thrombophlebitis are an extremely rare complication of appendicitis that has only been documented twice previously.
Mediastinitis Secondary to Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Migration and Perforation after Minor Trauma: A Case Report
Introduction: The use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) has been integral to the advancement of medical care in both in-patient and out-patient arenas.1 However, our knowledge of PICC line complications remains incomplete, particularly in regard to venous perforation and extraluminal migration. Utilization of displaced catheters harbors lethal complications and is an infrequently reported phenomenon, with traumatic etiologies only referenced as possible mechanisms; however, to date no formal cases have been reported.5,6
Case Report: We report a case of a fall associated with extraluminal PICC migration and perforation causing mediastinitis and severe sepsis after total parenteral nutrition (TPN) infusion in a 54-year-old woman. Our patient required a right-sided PICC for long-term home TPN due to severe malnutrition following gastric bypass surgery. During a routine home care visit our patient was found tachypneic, hypoxic, and short of breath. Computed topography imaging in the emergency department (ED) identified the injury, likely related to the recent fall. The patient experienced a complicated hospital course after removal of the PICC. Although rare, PICC line migrations and perforations cause serious complications that should be considered by emergency physicians evaluating patients with chronic indwelling vascular access.
Conclusion: Given the efficacy and widespread use of PICC lines, we present this case as a rarely reported but life-threatening complication that requires particular attention. Emergency physicians should be aware of such PICC line complications when encountering patients with chronic indwelling vascular access.
Introduction: Ring avulsion injuries consist of a characteristic injury pattern resulting from sudden intense force pulling on a finger ring. While ring avulsion injury is a known entity in the hand surgery literature, there is scant description of the injury pattern in emergency medicine, much less its management and transfer implications in the emergency department (ED).
Case Report: This is a report of a patient presenting to the ED with ring avulsion injury after a workplace accident, initially transferred to a tertiary care hospital with general hand surgery, who then required a second transfer for consideration of microsurgical revascularization.
Conclusion: In addition to fully assessing the degree of injury, including neurovascular and tendon involvement, emergency physicians must recognize cases of severe ring avulsion injuries without complete amputation as potential opportunities for microsurgical revascularization.
Introduction: Unilateral facial weakness is a concerning symptom, particularly in a resources poor setting. Distinguishing between peripheral and central causes is critical to the evaluation, treatment, and prognosis.
Case report: An unusual case of recurrent, transient Bell’s palsy occurring during ascent in a commercial airplane is presented.
Conclusion: Emergency physicians should be aware of the possibility of barotrauma to the facial nerve (cranial nerve VII) during flights because accurately diagnosing this condition can prevent costly aircraft diversion, calm the passenger’s anxiety, and forgo an expensive medical workup.
Introduction: Emergency department physicians should incorporate point-of-care-ultrasound (POCUS) in the assessment of patients presenting with acute scrotal pain for rapid identification of the time sensitive urologic emergency, testicular torsion.
Case Report: A 20-year-old otherwise healthy male, with a history of monorchism, presented to the emergency department with vague testicular pain. A POCUS was performed, which demonstrated attenuated arterial flow of the patient’s single testicle as well as twisting (“whirlpool sign”) of the spermatic cord, both highly specific ultrasonographic findings of testicular torsion.
Conclusion: These findings expedited definitive management resulting in the salvage of the single ischemic testicle.
Blunt Chest Trauma Causing a Displaced Sternal Fracture and ST-elevation Myocardial Infarction: A Case Report
Introduction: Blunt chest trauma and motor vehicle collisions are common presentations to the emergency department (ED). Chest pain in a trauma patient can usually and reasonably be attributed to chest wall injury, leading to a potential delay in diagnosis and treatment.
Case Report: In this case report, we present a 52-year-old male who was brought to the ED with complaints of chest pain and pressure after a motor vehicle collision. He was subsequently found to have both a displaced sternal fracture and simultaneous acute myocardial infarction with 100% occlusion of the mid left anterior descending artery without dissection requiring stent placement.
Conclusion: Chest pain after blunt cardiac trauma is a common complaint. While rare, acute myocardial infarction must be considered. Most injuries result as direct trauma to the artery causing either dissection or acute thrombosis resulting in a myocardial infarction as opposed to acute plaque rupture with thrombosis, as seen in this case.
Introduction: Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an uncommon disorder that can lead to potentially life-threatening dysrhythmias. LQTS can be genetic, acquired, or both.
Case Report: A 44-year-old female with well-controlled hypertension and asthma presented with chest tightness. An initial electrocardiogram yielded a normal corrected QT interval of 423 milliseconds (ms) (normal <480 ms in females). Albuterol was administered and induced agitation, tremulousness, and tachycardia. Follow-up electrocardiograms demonstrated extreme prolongation of the corrected QT interval to 633 ms and morphology change of the T wave. Lab values were later notable for hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia, attributable to a recently started thiazide diuretic. The patient was ultimately diagnosed with congenital LQTS after initial unmasking by albuterol in the emergency department.
Conclusion: LQTS can be unmasked or exacerbated by electrolyte abnormalities and QT prolonging medications.
Introduction: Pectoralis major muscle injuries are relatively uncommon and occur secondary to weightlifting in nearly 50% of cases. Tendon tears occur almost exclusively in males between 20-40 years old and are heavily associated with anabolic androgenic steroid use. While magnetic resonance imaging is often considered the modality of choice, its availability is often limited in the emergency department (ED). In contrast, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is commonly available in the ED and can be used to help confirm the diagnosis and hasten disposition.
Case Report: We report a case of a 28-year-old male competitive weightlifter with a history of chronic anabolic steroid use who presented to the ED with acute left shoulder pain after weightlifting. History and physical exam were concerning for pectoralis major rupture, and POCUS confirmed the diagnosis.
Conclusion: Prompt evaluation and radiographic confirmation is key in ensuring good patient outcomes in pectoralis major tears. Therefore, proficiency of emergency physicians in musculoskeletal POCUS as an adjunct to estimate the extent of injury is important for expediting disposition and and promptly involving orthopedic surgery evaluation.
Introduction: Septic malleolar bursitis is a rare cause of ankle pain and swelling. It has been described in certain occupational and recreational activities that involve tight-fitting boots, such as figure skating. Court-ordered electronic monitoring devices are often worn on the ankle. It is not known whether these devices are a risk factor for the development of malleolar bursitis.
Case Report: We describe a 41-year-old male under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device on his right ankle who presented to our emergency department with several days of progressive pain and swelling over the medial malleolus. Point-of-care ultrasound revealed a thick-walled cystic structure consistent with medial malleolar bursitis. Bursal aspiration was performed. Fluid culture yielded Staphylococcus aureus.
Discussion: Emergency physicians regularly see patients with ankle pain and swelling and must consider a comprehensive differential diagnosis. Septic malleolar bursitis is an uncommon but important cause of ankle pain and swelling that requires prompt diagnosis and intervention. Point-of-care ultrasonography may aid in the diagnosis. Additionally, emergency physicians should be aware of potential complications related to electronic monitoring devices.
Introduction: Hyperhemolysis syndrome (HHS) is a rare complication of repeat blood transfusions in sickle cell disease (SCD). This can occur acutely or have a delayed presentation and often goes unrecognized in the emergency department (ED) due to its rapid progression and similarity to acute chest syndrome and other common complications of SCD.
Case Report: We present a case of a 20-year-old male with SCD who presented to the ED with pain and tenderness in his lower extremities one day after discharge for a crisis. Unbeknownst to the ED team, during his admission he had received a blood transfusion. On presentation he was noted to have hyperkalemia, hyperbilirubinemia, anemia, and uncontrolled pain, and was admitted for sickle cell pain crisis. Over the next 36 hours, his hemoglobin dropped precipitously from 8.9 grams per deciliter (g/dL) to 4.2 g/dL (reference range: 11.5-14.5 g/dL), reticulocyte count from 11.7 % to 3.8% (0.4-2.2%), and platelets from 318,000 per cubic centimeter (K/cm3) to 65 K/cm3 (140-350 K/cm3). He also developed a fever, hypoxia, transaminitis, a deteriorating mental status, and severe lactic acidosis. Hematology was consulted and he was treated with methylprednisolone, intravenous immunoglobulin, two units of antigen-matched red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, and cryoprecipitate. He was transferred to an outside hospital for exchange transfusion and remained hospitalized for 26 days with acute liver failure, bone marrow necrosis, and a fever of unknown origin.
Conclusion: Because of the untoward outcomes associated with delay in HHS diagnosis and the need for early initiation of steroids, it is important for emergency providers to screen patients with hemoglobinopathies for recent transfusion at ED presentation. Asking the simple question about when a patient’s last transfusion occurred can lead an emergency physician to include HHS in the differential and work-up of patients with sickle cell disease complications.
Introduction: Infective myositis is an acute, self-limited condition, rarely occurring in children with recent viral infections. The condition is often overlooked by emergency physicians when endeavoring to exclude other diagnoses included in the differential. Diagnosis of the condition can be difficult when based purely on clinical presentation because it shares symptoms with much more concerning neurological illnesses. A few simple laboratory tests are indicated to reach the correct diagnosis.
Case Report: The following case report describes a three-year-old female diagnosed with a recent upper respiratory tract infection presenting to the emergency department with complaints of fatigue and inability to walk. She was diagnosed with an influenza-like illness three days prior by her pediatrician, the symptoms of which had mostly resolved by the time of presentation.
Conclusion: Muscle weakness and abnormal, uncoordinated gait with an acute upper respiratory tract infection in a child may be cause for concern, prompting unnecessary work-up. Emergency physicians should be aware of the signs and symptoms of influenza-associated infective myositis in children, especially during influenza season.
Introduction: Pediatric ovarian torsion (OT) is a relatively rare occurrence with chances of significant morbidity and possible mortality if not treated emergently.
Case Report: In this report, we review a case of pediatric ovarian torsion in a nine-year oldthat was difficult to diagnose on initial presentation to the hospital due to various factors, which inevitably led to delayed resolution.
Conclusion: We discuss the diagnosis of pediatric ovarian torsion including risk factors, symptoms, imaging modalities, and surgical diagnostics. To improve diagnosis and shorten time to treatment, this case supports the use of laparoscopy for diagnosis of ovarian torsion if indicated by clinical suspicion and supplemental imaging studies.
Complication of Hepatitis A Virus Infection: A Case Report of Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
Introduction: Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) is characterized by progressive, mild sensory symptoms and progressive areflexic weakness. It typically follows a gastrointestinal or respiratory infection but has rarely been described after acute viral hepatitis.
Case Report: This is the case of a 59-year-old male who presented to the emergency department after acutely developing progressive neurologic symptoms following a hospitalization for acute hepatitis A. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed albuminocytologic dissociation, and cervical spine magnetic resonance imaging revealed nerve root enhancement.
Discussion: The patient was diagnosed with AIDP, which is the most common subtype of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the United States and Europe. There have been few previously reported cases of AIDP following acute hepatitis A infection.
Introduction: The serratus anterior plane block (SAPB) has been shown to effectively treat pain following breast surgery, thoracotomies, and rib fractures. We present the first reported case of a bilateral ultrasound-guided SAPB in a multimodal analgesic regimen after an acute large, thoracic, deep partial-thickness burn.
Case Report: A 72-year-old male presented in severe pain two days after sustaining a deep partial- thickness burn to his anterior chest wall after his shirt caught on fire while cooking. The area of injury was on bilateral chest walls, and the patient was consented for bilateral SAPBs at the level of the third thoracic ribs (T3). With ultrasound guidance, a mixture of ropivacaine and lidocaine with epinephrine was injected into the fascial plane overlying bilateral serratus muscles at T3. The patient reported complete resolution of pain for approximately 15 hours and required minimal additional intravenous analgesia.
Conclusion: The ultrasound-guided SAPB may be an excellent addition to the multimodal analgesic regimen in superficial and partial-thickness burns of the anterior chest wall.
Images in Emergency Medicine
Case Presentation: We present the case of a young male with high clinical suspicion of a penile fracture found to have dorsal vein rupture by emergency department point-of-care ultrasound. This false form of penile fracture was subsequently confirmed intraoperatively.
Discussion: Penile fracture is a rare clinical entity that may be separated into true vs false penile fracture, with only true fracture requiring surgery. The images submitted here add to the sparse literature evidence that point-of-care ultrasound can be used to differentiate between these two clinical entities. Additionally, this case report highlights an opportunity for further research into and application of point-of-care ultrasound to the evaluation of suspected penile fractures.
CasePresentation: A 50-year-old male with a history of multiple sclerosis with dizziness and nystagmus presented to the emergency department. On physical exam, nystagmus was noted. Computed tomography of the head without contrast was obtained showing a low density in the left frontal lobe. During admission, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings were consistent with Balò’s concentric sclerosis.
Discussion: Balò’s concentric sclerosis is a rare, inflammatory demyelinating disease, often considered to be an infrequent variant of multiple sclerosis with alternating rings of healthy myelin and demyelination leading to pathognomonic findings of concentric lamella on T2 or contrast-enhanced T1 MRI imaging.
Case Presentation: A 16-month-old boy presented with acute fever of 99° Fahrenheit (after receiving antipyretics), grunting, and tachypnea. On examination, he was tachycardic, tachypneic, and ill-appearing with abdominal distention and diffuse tenderness. A plain film abdominal radiograph showed moderate free air, and emergent laparoscopy revealed perforated Meckel’s diverticulitis with peritonitis.
Discussion: Although tachypnea and grunting in preverbal or nonverbal patients are often considered to be signs of respiratory illness, these findings may reflect intra-abdominal emergencies. Perforated Meckel’s diverticulitis is an important differential consideration in patients with pneumoperitoneum.
Abdominal Pain in the Elderly Patient: Point-of-care Ultrasound Diagnosis of Small Bowel Obstruction
Case Presentation: A 67-year-old female presented to the emergency department (ED) complaining of generalized abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) demonstrated dilated bowel loops measuring up to 4.1 centimeters and localized free fluid, consistent with a small bowel obstruction (SBO). A nasogastric tube was placed without complications. The patient was admitted to the hospital and conservatively managed with an uncomplicated course.
Discussion: In elderly patients with abdominal pain, POCUS is an excellent initial imaging modality to assist emergency physicians in rapid and accurate diagnosis of a variety of pathologies to expedite management. Point-of-care ultrasound can be used to rule out and evaluate for conditions encountered in emergency medicine, including acute cholecystitis, renal colic, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and intraperitoneal free fluid. As demonstrated in our case presentation, POCUS had an integral role in the early diagnosis and management of a SBO.
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Case Presentation: A 35-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with severe right inguinal pain. Her medical history was non-contributory and there was no known trauma or injury to the region. Amid concern for an incarcerated inguinal hernia, a computed tomography was obtained revealing a linear foreign body (FB) lateral to the femoral vessels. The FB was removed without complication at bedside and found to be a beading needle likely occultly lodged three days prior.
Discussion: Occult inguinal FBs are rare but can lead to deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism if in or near vessels. By nature of being occult, an absence of ingestion, insertion, or penetrative history should not preclude consideration of a FB etiology. Computed tomography imaging is crucial in determining the urgency of, and approach to, inguinal foreign body removal.
Case Presentation: A 62-year-old male presented to the emergency department with altered mental status and fever. Computed tomography of the head showed enlargement of the left lateral ventricle. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated debris and purulence in the ventricle along with edema and transependymal flow of cerebrospinal fluid surrounding both ventricles.
Discussion: The patient was diagnosed with ventriculitis. Ventriculitis is an uncommon but serious disease. Early recognition and treatment are essential.