Pediatric Airway Obstruction

This case was written by Drs. Rob Woods and Gautam Sinha. Rob is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.  He works clinically in Adult & Pediatric EM, as well as doing Transport Medicine with STARS.  He is the FRCPC Residency Program Director as well as the Program Director for the Clinician Educator Diploma Program at the University of Saskatchewan.

Why It Matters

Acute airway obstruction is a time sensitive and anxiety inducing presentation. For most providers this is even more true with pediatric patients. When a patient presents to the emergency department with airway compromise, having a methodical and timely approach can be life saving. This case gives a chance to practice recognition and management of the upper airway obstruction.

Clinical Vignette

An 8-year-old boy (30kg) has been brought to the ED by ambulance. He was eating a sausage about 30 minutes earlier and choked.  He lost consciousness with the ambulance crew and they were unable to visualize or remove the foreign body.  He is peri-arrest on ED arrival with O2 saturations in the 40s. 

Case Summary

This case involves an 8 year-old boy with upper airway obstruction from sausage. When indirect treatment fails, removal with Magill forceps under direct visualization is required. The patient slowly recovers after removal of foreign body but will require admission for monitoring.

Download the case here: Pediatric Airway Obstruction

CXR for the case found here:

Picture1

(CXR sourced from authors of case)

 

COVID-19: Ambulatory Care

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

COVID-19: Respiratory Failure

We are interrupting our regular q2weeks cases with this bonus case for use in an in situ simulation setting for testing your emergency department’s response to acutely unwell patient’s with suspected COVID-19. This case was written by Drs. Alia Dharamsi, SooJin Yi and Kate Hayman who are academic staff emergency physicians in Toronto. This case has been used widely at a variety of community and academic EDs in the Greater Toronto Area to facilitate departmental preparedness.

Twitter – @alia_dh + @soojinder + @hayman_kate

Featured image used under creative commons licence by Pete Linforth via Pixabay.

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 well developed simulation case 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 35-year-old woman became febrile last night with coryza and woke up acutely short of breath with productive cough, rhinorrhea, and a subjective fever. She presents to triage where she screens positive for potential coronavirus exposure due to fever, respiratory symptoms and a high-risk travel history.

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 critically ill coronavirus patient from triage through to intubation.

Download the case here: COVID-19

Find the directions for the props here: Props for COVID-19

Video of the nasal secretion prop:

ECG for the case found here:

1600px-Sinustachycardia

(ECG Source: https://en.ecgpedia.org/wiki/Sinus_Tachycardia)

CXR for the case found here:

acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome-ards

(CXR Source: https://radiopaedia.org/cases/35985)

POCUS for the case found here:

ezgif.com-optimize

(POCUS Source: http://www.thepocusatlas.com/pulmonary)

Nightmares Case 5: Pulmonary Edema

This is the fifth 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

A patient is seen by the emergency team, diagnosed with a hip fracture after he slipped and fell, and admitted by the orthopedics service. His medications have been held and he has been made NPO and started on maintenance fluids in anticipation of an operation tomorrow. He is boarding in the emergency department when he wakes up with shortness of breath and hypoxia secondary pulmonary edema.

Case Summary

This case involves the approach to the patient with acute dyspnea. The patient is tachypneic, hypoxic, and hypertensive. The team should consider multiple possibilities but recognize pulmonary edema as the most likely cause.

The team is expected to appropriately call for help while initiating management. The patient will respond to supplemental oxygen, nitrates, and non-invasive positive pressure ventilation after which the internal medicine team will be consulted.

Download here

Pulmonary Edema

Chest X-ray for the Case

Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 11.19.40 AM.png

Reference = https://radiologyassistant.nl/chest/chest-x-ray-heart-failure

EKG for the Case

LBBB ECG.png

Reference = http://hqmeded-ecg.blogspot.com/2012/10/hyperkalemia-in-setting-of-left-bundle.html

Ultrasounds for the Case

Find it HERE.

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

Palliative Respiratory Case

This case is written by Dr. Alexandra Stefan. Dr. Stefan is an emergency medicine physician and the Postgraduate Site Director for Emergency Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. She is also an assistant professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her areas of interest are postgraduate medical education, simulation (has completed the Harvard Centre for Medical Simulation training course) and global health  education (has participated in teaching trips with Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration).

Why it Matters

Emergency medicine training is often focused on the many interventions we can make when a patient arrives in distress. This case highlights that sometimes, one of the most important interventions is to determine a patient’s goals of care. It specifically highlights:

  • The importance of pain management as a part of end of life care
  • The need to speak clearly and without medical jargon to establish a patient’s wishes
  • That goals of care conversations often happen in the ED through a substitute decision maker, rather than with the patient directly.

Clinical Vignette

“A 72 year old man from home with acute shortness of breath has just been placed in the resuscitation room. He has a history of lung cancer and is on 2L home oxygen. His daughter Cindy called 911 because he has been getting worse since this morning. He just finished a course of antibiotics for presumed pneumonia. He is on hydromorph contin and prochlorperazine. No allergies. Here is his most recent oncology clinic note.”

Case Summary

A 72-year old male with small cell lung cancer and bony metastases presents with acute shortness of breath. Curative treatment has been stopped and palliative care assessment is pending. He is on home oxygen and has come to the ED as his symptoms could not be controlled at home.

The patient initially improves with oxygen and pain control. He is too confused to engage in discussion about advanced directives. No previous advanced directives or level of care have been documented but, Cindy, the patient’s daughter is available to act as decision maker. She will have a number of questions about her father’s care.

The patient’s respiratory status will deteriorate. Cindy will confirm her father’s wish for comfort measures, to be started by the treating team.

Download the case here: Palliative Resp Case

Download the clinic note required for the case here: Med Onc Note

ECG for the case found here:

ecg sob case

(ECG source: http://www.thecrashcart.org/case-2-post-partum-palpitations/)

CXR for the case found here:

pleural effusion

(CXR source: https://radiopaedia.org/cases/pleural-effusion-7)

Cardiac Ultrasound for the case found here:

 

(U/S image courtesy of McMaster PoCUS Subspecialty Training Program.)

Pediatric Difficult Airway

This case is written by Dr. Jonathan Pirie. He is a staff physician in the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Pirie is also the Director of Simulation for Pediatric Emergency Medicine and the Simulation Fellowship program. His simulation interests include development of core curricula for postgraduate training programs, in-situ team training, and mastery learning with competency based simulation for trainees and faculty in pediatric technical skills and resuscitation.

Why it Matters

While croup makes stridor a relatively common presentation in the Pediatric ED, today it is quite rare to have a child with stridor who requires definitive airway management. It is exceedingly rare for an Emergency physician to need to proceed to cricothyroidotomy on a child. This case highlights the following:

  • The initial management steps for a child with undifferentiated, severe stridor
  • The need to call for help early
  • The steps required for a needle cricothyroidotomy and the equipment necessary to ventilate a child after this procedure is performed

Clinical Vignette

You are working in the ED, and your team has been called urgently to see a 2-year-old old boy with difficulty breathing. The patient was brought in by his mother, who states he’s had a 2-day history of runny nose. Today he developed a barking cough with fever, and is “breathing with a funny noise.”

Case Summary

The ED team is called to manage a 2-year-old boy in severe respiratory distress with stridor and hypoxia. Initial management steps (humidified O2, nebulized epinephrine and dexamethasone) fail to improve the patient’s respiratory status, and the team must prepare for a difficult intubation. They will encounter difficulties with both bagging and passing the endotracheal tube due to airway edema, which will necessitate an emergency needle cricothyroidotomy.

Download the case here: Pediatric Difficult Airway

Intubation with Missing BVM

This case is written by Drs. Andrew Petrosoniak and Nicole Kester-Greene. Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak is an emergency physician and trauma team leader at St. Michael’s Hospital. He’s an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and an associate scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.  Dr. Nicole Kester-Greene is a staff physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in the Department of Emergency Services and an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine. She has completed a simulation educators training course at Harvard Centre for Medical Simulation and is currently Director of Emergency Medicine Simulation at Sunnybrook.

Why it Matters

Emergency medicine is about anticipating the worst and preparing for it . This case highlights this perfectly. In particular, it emphasizes:

  • The need to have a mental (or physical) checklist to ensure all necessary equipment is available at the bedside before starting a procedure
  • The complex nature of managing an immunocompromised patient with respiratory illness
  • The role for intubation in a hypoxic patient

Clinical Vignette

You are working in a large community ED. The triage nurse tells you that she has just put a patient in the resuscitation room. He is a 41-year old man with HIV. He is known to be non-compliant with his anti-retrovirals. He noticed progressive shortness of breath over 3-4 days and has had a dry cough for 10 days. His O2 sat was in the 80s at triage.

Case Summary

A 41-year old male with HIV (not on treatment) presents to the ED with a cough for 10 days, progressive dyspnea and fever. He is hypoxic at triage and brought immediately to the resuscitation room. He has transient improvement on oxygen but then has progressive worsening of his hypoxia and dyspnea. Intubation is required. The team needs to prepare for RSI and identify that the BVM is missing from the room prior to intubation.

Download the case here: Intubation with Missing BVM

CXR for the case found here:

PJP pneumonia

(CXR source: https://radiopaedia.org/cases/35823)

 

PE with Bleeding

This case is written by Dr. Donika Orlich. She is a staff physician practising in the Greater Toronto Area. She completed both her Emergency Medicine training and Clinician Educator Diploma at McMaster University.

Why it Matters

Many simulation cases that deal with pulmonary embolism seem to focus on the decision to administer thrombolytics (usually upon a patient’s arrest). This case is different. While the team must administer thrombolytics to a patient with known pulmonary embolism, the catch is that they must then also recognize shock as a result of intra-abdominal bleeding. As a result, the case highlights the following:

  • The dose of thrombolytics to be used in the context of cardiac arrest
  • The importance of an approach to undifferentiated shock after ROSC. (It’s not all cardiogenic!)
  • That bleeding is a complication of thrombolysis. This is drilled into our brains as the major complication, but somehow it is diagnostically challenging to recognize.

Clinical Vignette

You are called urgently to the bedside of a patient who is in the Emergency Department awaiting medicine consultation. Your colleague saw her earlier. She is 63 years old and has a CT-confirmed pulmonary embolism. She had presented with shortness of breath on exertion in the context of a recent hysterectomy 4 weeks ago. She has been stable in the ED until she got up to go to the bathroom and suddenly developed severe shortness of breath.

Case Summary

A 63-year-old female is in the Emergency Department awaiting internal medicine consultation for a diagnosed pulmonary embolism. She suddenly becomes very short of breath while walking to the bathroom and the team is called to assess. The patent will then arrest, necessitating thrombolysis. After ROSC, she will stabilize briefly but then develop increasing vasopressor requirements. The team will need to work through the shock differential diagnosis and recognize free fluid in the abdomen as a complication of thrombolysis requiring surgical consultation and transfusion.

Download the case here: PE with Bleeding

ECG for the case found here:

Massive PE ECG

(ECG source: https://lifeinthefastlane.com/ecg-library/pulmonary-embolism/)

Initial CXR for the case found here:

normal female CXR radiopedia

(CXR source: https://radiopaedia.org/cases/normal-chest-radiograph-female-1)

Post-intubation CXR for the case found here:

normal-intubation2

(CXR source: https://emcow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/normal-intubation2.jpg)

Pericardial ultrasound for the case found here:

Normal lung ultrasound for the case found here:

Abdominal free fluid ultrasound for the case found here:

RUQ FF

(All ultrasound images are courtesy of McMaster PoCUS Subspecialty Training Program.)