Suspected COVID-19 (Part 2)

Last week’s case featured a critically ill patient with COVID-19. However, not all patients will present that sick, and not always to a tertiary care centre. In a follow-up case, this patient presents moderately unwell and is a good case to use in an ambulatory care setting such as an urgent care or clinic.

This case was written by Dr. Alex Chorley, a staff emergency physician at Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario. The case is part of the ongoing in situ simulation project designed to discover and fix or mitigate latent safety threats in the Emergency Department. (To learn more about using in situ simulation for quality improvement, read our previous two-part blog post.)

Why It Matters

Outbreaks of novel respiratory illnesses occur with some regularity (e.g. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)). With world travel being a modern reality, disease spread can happen quickly requiring careful infection control practices. COVID-19 (aka 2019-nCoV) was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has since been declared an outbreak by the WHO (see this link for further information).

This simulation case, designed for a moderately unwell patient presenting to an ambulatory clinic, provides a way to test and improve systems in place for infection control, PPE, and management of exposure to COVID-19 or any high risk communicable respiratory illness.

Clinical Vignette

A 38-year old male has returned from a business trip in Asia last week.  Over the last 48 hours, he has developed fever, rigors, myalgias as well as nausea, vomiting and upper respiratory symptoms.  He initially was trying to ride it out at home, but is feeling increasingly short of breath and fatigued. He has now presented to your ambulatory care clinic.

Case Summary

This case was designed during the January 2020 COVID-19 outbreak in order to assess and improve team preparedness for safely and effectively caring for a moderately ill coronavirus patient from triage through to EMS transfer out of an ambulatory care setting.

Download the case here: Ambulatory COVID-19

CXR for the case found here:

Courtesy of Dr Henry Knipe, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 31352

Nightmares Case 8: Sepsis/Cholangitis

This is the eighth and final case in a series we will be publishing that make up “The Nightmares Course”.

The Nightmares Course at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) was developed in 2011 by Drs. Dan Howes and Mike O’Connor. The course emerged organically in response to requests from first year residents wanting more training in the response to acutely unwell patients. In 2014, Dr. Tim Chaplin took over as the course director and has expanded the course to include first year residents from 14 programs and to provide both formative feedback and summative assessment. The course involves 4 sessions between August and November and a summative OSCE in December. Each session involves 4-5 residents and covers 3 simulated scenarios that are based on common calls to the floor. The course has been adapted for use at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Calgary.

Why it Matters

The first few months of residency can be a stressful time with long nights on call and the adjustment to a new level of responsibility. While help should always be available, the first few minutes of managing a decompensating patient is something all junior residents must be competent at. This case series will help to accomplish that through simulation.

Clinical Vignette

You are covering an in-patient surgical floor. Its 2300 and you are called to assess a 47-year old man who has been admitted for cholecystitis and is currently awaiting a cholecystectomy. The nurse called because she is worried about new confusion and fever that has developed over the last 3 hours.

Case Summary

This case involves the approach to severe sepsis, more specifically acute cholangitis. If treated aggressively (IV fluids, early broad spectrum antibiotics and source control) the patient will stabilize. If not, the patient will deteriorate into a PEA arrest.

Download Here

Nightmares Sepsis

Media for the Case

No imaging or ultrasound required for this case. If they are asked for:
– X-rays will be normal
– Ultrasound unavailable overnight
– EKG shows sinus tach

Nightmares Case 6: Ventricular Tachycardia

This is the sixth in a case series we will be publishing that make up “The Nightmares Course”.

The Nightmares Course at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) was developed in 2011 by Drs. Dan Howes and Mike O’Connor. The course emerged organically in response to requests from first year residents wanting more training in the response to acutely unwell patients. In 2014, Dr. Tim Chaplin took over as the course director and has expanded the course to include first year residents from 14 programs and to provide both formative feedback and summative assessment. The course involves 4 sessions between August and November and a summative OSCE in December. Each session involves 4-5 residents and covers 3 simulated scenarios that are based on common calls to the floor. The course has been adapted for use at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Calgary.

Why it Matters

The first few months of residency can be a stressful time with long nights on call and the adjustment to a new level of responsibility. While help should always be available, the first few minutes of managing a decompensating patient is something all junior residents must be competent at. This case series will help to accomplish that through simulation.

Clinical Vignette

You are called by the ward nurse to assess a 65-year old male with a new onset of a “rapid heart rate”. This patient was admitted early yesterday and is awaiting a coronary angiogram for an NSTEMI.

Case Summary

In this scenario, the learner is called to the ward to assess a 65-year old male with new VT. The learner must recognize the rhythm and institute appropriate work-up and management including electrical cardioversion.

Download here

Ventricular Tachycardia

EKG for the Case

Source: https://litfl.com/ventricular-tachycardia-monomorphic-ecg-library/

Nightmares Case 4: Pulmonary Embolism

This is the fourth in a case series we will be publishing that make up “The Nightmares Course”.

The Nightmares Course at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) was developed in 2011 by Drs. Dan Howes and Mike O’Connor. The course emerged organically in response to requests from first year residents wanting more training in the response to acutely unwell patients. In 2014, Dr. Tim Chaplin took over as the course director and has expanded the course to include first year residents from 14 programs and to provide both formative feedback and summative assessment. The course involves 4 sessions between August and November and a summative OSCE in December. Each session involves 4-5 residents and covers 3 simulated scenarios that are based on common calls to the floor. The course has been adapted for use at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Calgary.

Why it Matters

The first few months of residency can be a stressful time with long nights on call and the adjustment to a new level of responsibility. While help should always be available, the first few minutes of managing a decompensating patient is something all junior residents must be competent at. This case series will help to accomplish that through simulation.

Clinical Vignette

It’s 1:00 AM and you’ve been called to assess a 69 year old woman admitted to the Gyne Oncology unit. She was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is actively receiving chemotherapy. Her repeat CT showed decreased tumor burden and the plan is for surgery tomorrow. She was admitted pre-op to receive a blood transfusion for a Hb of 72. The transfusion ended 4 hours ago and was tolerated well. Approximately 30 min ago, the patient started developing shortness of breath and central chest discomfort.

Case Summary

This case involves the approach to the patient with acute dyspnea. The patient is tachypneic but with an otherwise normal respiratory exam. ECG shows new right heart strain. The team should consider multiple possibilities but recognize PE as the most likely cause.

The team is expected to appropriately call for help while initiating management. The patient will decompensate and arrest – thrombolytics should be discussed. After the patient achieves ROSC, the resident will provide handover to the code blue team.

Download here

Nightmare Care #4 – PE

Chest X-ray for the Case

Source: https://openpress.usask.ca/undergradimaging/chapter/pulmonary-thromboembolism/

EKG for the Case

Source: https://litfl.com/ecg-changes-in-pulmonary-embolism/

Nightmares Case 2: Pneumonia

This is the second in a case series we will be publishing that make up “The Nightmares Course”.

The Nightmares Course at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) was developed in 2011 by Drs. Dan Howes and Mike O’Connor. The course emerged organically in response to requests from first year residents wanting more training in the response to acutely unwell patients. In 2014, Dr. Tim Chaplin took over as the course director and has expanded the course to include first year residents from 14 programs and to provide both formative feedback and summative assessment. The course involves 4 sessions between August and November and a summative OSCE in December. Each session involves 4-5 residents and covers 3 simulated scenarios that are based on common calls to the floor. The course has been adapted for use at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Calgary.

Why it Matters

The first few months of residency can be a stressful time with long nights on call and the adjustment to a new level of responsibility. While help should always be available, the first few minutes of managing a decompensating patient is something all junior residents must be competent at. This case series will help to accomplish that through simulation.

Clinical Vignette

Mr. Jim Smith is a 64 year old male that was admitted 3 days ago. He was diagnosed with a community acquired pneumonia and started on daily Moxifloxacin. The nurse is concerned about his increasing shortness of breath since she started the night shift 4 hours ago.

Case Summary

In this case, the patient has been admitted for pneumonia and treated with the usual antibiotics. However, the team has not yet recognized that the causative bacteria is resistant to this antibiotic. The pneumonia has progressed and the team must manage the patient’s respiratory distress and sepsis. The patient requires a change in antibiotics, non-invasive ventilatory support and IV fluid resuscitation.

Download the Case Here

Nightmares Course #2: Pneumonia

EKG for the Case

Pulmonary disease pattern COPD ECG
EKG: https://litfl.com/ecg-in-chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease/

Chest X-ray for the Case

Chest X-ray: https://radiopaedia.org/cases/right-upper-lobe-pneumonia-8

Geriatric Case 6: Elder Abuse

This is the sixth and final case in a six-part mini-series focusing on the management of geriatric patients in the ED. This series of cases was written by Drs. Rebecca Shaw, Nemat Alsaba, and Victoria Brazil.

Dr. Rebecca Shaw is an emergency physician currently working as a medical education fellow within the Emergency Department of the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service in Queensland, Australia. Dr. Nemat Alsaba (@talk2nemat) is an emergency physician with a special interest in geriatric emergency medicine, medical education and simulation. She is trying her best to combine these interests to improve geriatric patient care across all health sectors. She is also an assistant professor in medical education and simulation at Bond university. Dr. Victoria Brazil is an emergency physician and medical educator. She is Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Simulation at the Gold Coast Health Service, and at Bond University medical program. Victoria’s main interests are in connecting education with patient care – through healthcare simulation, technology enabled learning, faculty development activities, and talking at conferences. Victoria is an enthusiast in the social media and #FOAMed world (@SocraticEM), and she is co-producer of Simulcast (Simulationpodcast.com).

Why It Matters

Elder abuse and neglect is under-recognized, under-reported and under-treated. The emergency department provides an opportunity to identify and intervene in cases of elder abuse. Often, the signs of abuse may be subtle. This case gives participants the chance to improving their skill in identifying elder abuse and to practice their approach to this emotionally challenging issue.

Clinical Vignette

A bedside RN comes to you and says, “Nora has been brought into ED after a fall at home 3 days ago. She is a bit tachycardic and complaining of some pain in her abdomen. She has a few bruises on the rest of her body. Could you please assess her?”

Case Summary

An 80-year old woman presents after a fall at home. She is complaining of right sided upper abdominal pain since the fall. She is also complaining of intermittent palpitations and dizziness prior to the fall. Participants are expected to identify that the cause of the fall is due to elder abuse and to manage this along with her concurrent medical issues and abdominal injury.

Key to a Successful Simulation

This case uses a standardized patient who has an extensive script and back story. This patient needs to be familiar with the story and respond in character to the participants questions and empathy (or lack of empathy). There should be a slow unfolding of the story as the participants gain the patient’s trust.

Download the case here:

ECG for the case:

ECG Source: Dr Ed Burns, LITFL.com

Chest x-ray for the case:

Pelvis x-ray for the case:

RUQ ultrasound for the case:

U/S source: McMaster PoCUS Subspecialty Training Program