Emergency Tips

Helical CT is the radiologic modality of choice for diagnosing ureteral calculus

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) can mimic renal colic

A CT scan for appendicitis is “negative” only if the entire appendix has been visualized and is normal

Analyzing a mass gathering will allow informed decisions about the needed levels of staffing and equipment necessary to provide on-site care

A suicide attempt should be considered in patients with illogical explanations for serious accidents

Hypotensive, tachycardic patients with penetrating chest trauma should be immediately evaluated for tension pneumothorax and pericardial tamponade because emergent treatment can be life-saving

Consider a computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the neck in patients with facial or cervical spine fractures

Secure the airway early in the management of patients with significant soft-tissue neck injuries

Sodium bicarbonate (1–2 mEq/kg) should be considered for all poisoned patients with ventricular dysrhythmias or a wide QRS

The most important action to take in the event of an attack of weapons of mass destruction is simply self-protection by donning appropriate personal protective equipment

Dermal exposure or ingestion of hydrofluoric acid can result in profound hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia, and hyperkalemia

Mesenteric ischemia should be considered in any patient who has severe abdominal pain out of proportion to the physical examination, often requiring large doses of narcotics

Because of the fast helical computed tomography (CT) scanners of today, many infants and children can undergo this diagnostic procedure without sedation

Ketamine provides sedation, analgesia, and amnesia while protecting the cardiovascular status and airway reflexes, making it an ideal agent for procedural sedation in children

Bilateral retinal hemorrhages in an infant strongly suggest child abuse (shaken baby syndrome).

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