The sad thing is, I hardly remember the patient. Everything about her is just an overhead pediatric trauma alert followed by the flurry of cutting clothes off, throwing IV lines, and calling out our primary and secondary survey -- "blown right pupil," "unequal breath sounds," "gross deformity to left ankle," and then, "no pulses" -- followed by the age-old barbaric resuscitation efforts that are now muscle memory to us, as ...

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As medical providers, we recognize the value and importance of emergency medical identification (EMI), especially for our patients who live with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, epilepsy, and severe allergies. Of particular concern are those who may require emergency care during a time when they are unable to communicate, but how often do we address this topic with our patients, and do they really listen? Health care professionals have long recommended that such patients obtain emergency medical identification, such as MedicAlert jewelry (bracelet, ...

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Physicians need to complete about 50 hours of some kind of continuing medical education (CME) every year. The ideal kind of class is one that we actually attend in person, with teachers who are expert in the field being taught and are somewhere near the cutting edge. CME classes are especially nice when they include something hands-on rather than just a lecture format because much of medicine is hands on ...

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It is amazing to me how far emergency medicine has come as a specialty. Until the 1970s, emergency rooms were staffed by low-level resident interns who moonlighted for extra money or physicians who couldn’t find work elsewhere. After finally getting recognized as a specialty, the specialty still spent a few decades finding its way: developing training programs, improving quality, and generally trying to raise the bar on emergency care in ...

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shutterstock_117726904 I suppose it is obvious that I am a fan of stories. I like to hear them, read them, watch them, collect them and tell them. I believe I am participating in stories every day of my life. The story of my family is a beautiful epic. The stories I hear at work can break my heart. One of my favorite ...

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Although I pride myself on catching the obscure snapshots of typical life moments that occur daily while dealing with patients and their families in the emergency department, occasionally there are times when I am so focused on the task at hand that I completely fail to see a glaring moment of obvious humor, sadness, or tenderness. At times like this, then, I am glad to have our hard-working nurses and ...

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shutterstock_11459362 The girl seizes. Her body torques and twists and jerks about like a snake trapped on an electric fence. She flops back and forth on the gurney before us, her pale forehead glistening with sweat, her brown hair wetted black from the effort of muscle contractions that threaten to tear apart her tiny frame. Trauma room two is silent save for the gluck-gluck-gluck of her ...

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The following article is satire. In the first application of a new “reverse AMA” system put into place to improve patient satisfaction, a patient was admitted to the hospital for the first time against the wishes of her treating ED physician.  Constance Dolor, a 37-year-old morbidly obese patient with chronic unexplained pain and a frequent visitor to the emergency department, became the first person in known history to be admitted the ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Uncertainty and Litigation Fears Drive ED Docs to Overimage. Nearly all emergency medicine physicians responding to a survey said that at least some of the advanced imaging studies they ordered were medically unnecessary.
  2. USPSTF: Not Enough Evidence for Thyroid Screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) said there ...

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I walked into room 30 to find two eager sets of eyes awaiting me. One set belonged to a young man, late-twenties, muscular and imposing, sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. His eyes were hazel brown, big and inviting, relieved at seeing my entry into their sheltered world. The other set of eyes, darker brown and magnified by her gold-stemmed glasses, belonged to my patient, a ...

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