It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon and you are settling into your second cup of coffee when a young mother comes running into the emergency department clutching her 3-year-old son. She reports “I just took my eyes off of him for a second to answer the door. When I returned, he had a broken necklace on the floor, several small beads lying around him, and was crying.
You are working one evening when EMS brings in a 52-year-old gentleman who achieved return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) in the field following cardiac arrest. He was walking on his treadmill when he clutched his left shoulder suddenly.
Calcium is a basic element necessary for normal human body functions and is found in all tissues. Calcium gluconate and calcium chloride salt solutions are perhaps most familiar to EPs for the treatment of life-threatening emergencies involving hyperkalemia1.
The size of the bills people receive for emergency care can seem somewhat remote to most of us. It’s easy to resign ourselves to saying, “the patient’s insurance will pay for it,” or “the government will pay for it.” But it is truly hard to witness some of the more egregious cases of price gouging in emergency care and remain detached.
It’s been another busy shift in the ED. You finish discharging one
patient as you are pulling up the x-rays of a 24 year old who rolled his
ankle while playing basketball. You don’t see a fracture and so you go
into the room to tell him the good news that it is only a sprain. As you
finish demonstrating some exercises that he can do to rehabilitate his
ankle, he says, “Hey doc, what you gonna give me for this?”
Studies show that EMS delivers a significant percentage of patients who
will go on to be admitted. Armed with these numbers, we must rethink
diversion, considering its true cost to the hospital.
Q: Does early antibiotic use reduce wound infections in open fractures? read more
Q: Do glucocorticoids prevent return visits, admissions, or need for additional treatment? read more
The Changing Landscape: ED visits have increased by about 3% per year
over 12 years from 369 visits to 451 per 1000 population. The ED
population is aging in line with the demographics of the country, and
EDs need to prepare to meet the needs of seniors.
Parents bring in their daughter because they pulled on her arm, and now
she is not using it. They are thoroughly convinced that the child’s arm
is either broken or dislocated. We all recognize this as radial head
subluxation or “nursemaid’s elbow” and immediately attempt to reduce it.
The provider takes the injured arm, supinates at the wrist and flexes
at the elbow. Does the child scream?
Don’t look back. I’m proud to say that each generation of EM residents
moves to a higher plane of learning than past generations. The depth
and breadth of learning in emergency medicine parallels the
lightning-fast growth of knowledge that characterizes modern medicine.
Keep it up!