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Tiny Tip: Is this a ‘CASE’ of an elbow fracture?

In Medical Concepts, Tiny Tips by Graham Wilson0 Comments

An elbow fracture is a common pediatric injury in emergency medicine. These fractures present challenges in diagnosis due to the maturing skeletal anatomy and the subtlety of these injuries.1 Plain radiographs are adequate to detect elbow fractures in most cases and a systematic approach can help learners diagnose these pathologies.2,3 An approach to reading elbow radiographs: After confirming patient identification and appropriate radiographic view, a mnemonic to help guide your approach to elbow …

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Tiny Tips – Cauda Equina Syndrome

In Medical Concepts, Tiny Tips by Mike Craig0 Comments

Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a collection of signs and symptoms resulting from compression of neural elements at the cauda equina.  Although CES has no universal definition, the most commonly cited clinical presentation involves severe lower back pain, bladder dysfunction, and sensory deficits in the sacral nerve root distribution. Associated symptoms can include radicular leg pain, lower extremity weakness, and erectile dysfunction. A recent review explores this variation in definitions and the diagnostic …

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Tiny Tips: HEART Score – A Tool for Acute Coronary Syndrome

In Medical Concepts, Tiny Tips by Richard Tang0 Comments

Chest Pain? Better check out the HEART (Score)! Chest pain suspected to be of cardiac origin is a common presentation in the first-world Emergency Department, but trying to decide the appropriate level of care of these patients can often be challenging. What if the chest pain is not a straight-forward STEMI that needs to be sent to the cath lab? What do we say when the troponin levels are not high enough to impress …

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Tiny Tips – Approach to Diabetic Ketoacidosis

In Medical Concepts, Tiny Tips by Larissa Hattin0 Comments

Don’t Know Anything about Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)? In Canada, 5 000 – 10 000 patients are admitted to the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) each year.1 Most of these patients will initially present to the Emergency Department.  The initial assessment and management of these patients in the ED is crucial, as 50% of DKA deaths occur in the first 48-72hrs.2  Managing DKA can be overwhelming for learners; interpreting blood gases, thinking about electrolyte and fluid …

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Tiny Tips – Taking a Social History

In Medical Concepts, Tiny Tips by Aaron Leung0 Comments

While often overlooked, a patient’s social history can help narrow the differential diagnosis as well as help guide their final disposition. A mnemonic to help with the essential parts of the social history is ETOH SHOTS: Education Level of education of the patient; are they able to understand discharge instructions. Treatment Coverage Does the patient have a drug plan to help cover medication costs, can they afford the medications you are prescribing. Offspring/Supports …