Category: Medical

COVID-19 (DKA/HHS)

Experience is showing that those with diabetic patients with COVID-19 are more likely to develop DKA/HSS. However, treating them with the traditional large amount of fluid is detrimental to their chest, if they have Covid-19

Hence the following has been developed from the Guy & Thomas’ guidance – CLICK HERE

High Clinical Suspicion of Covid-19

  • Clinical: Fever ≥37.8°C plus any of; cough, short of breath, myalgia, headache, sore throat
  • CXR: consistent with Covid-19

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COVID-19 (X-Ray learning resource)

British Society of Thoracic Imaging (BSTI) have released a free learning resource containing CXR and CT of confirmed Covid-19 cases, will short history including time image was taken from onset of symptoms.

From the China experience CXR/CT doesn’t seem to be a rule out strategy in ED at the moment – However, its a useful resource to help recognition of Covid-19 CXR’s

BSTI Covid-19 image bank

 

NIV (Non Invasive Ventilation)

NIV should be considered for use in patients with a  persisting Acute Hypercapnic Respiratory Failures after a maximum of one hour of standard medical therapy.

However, ICU should be contacted early if the patient has one of the following:

  • Asthma – Intubation the option of choice in Life threatening
  • Pneumonia – NIV should only be considered as a bridge to intubation
  • No pre-exisiting respiratory issue – NIV not likely helpful
  • pH <7.25 (low threshold for ICU input)
  • pCO2 >6.5kPa (low threshold for ICU input)
  • Type 1 Respiratory Failure (low threshold for ICU input)

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Hyponatraemia

Hyponatraema is a common finding, especially within our elderly population. However, its significance is is not a simple numbers game, and needs senior input. Prior to treatment the following need to be considered and balanced.

  1. Symptoms Severity – these are not exclusive to hyponatraemia and may be due to other disease processes (esp. if the low sodium is long-term)
  2. Sodium Level – the sodium concentration doesn’t always correlate to the clinical picture, and is dependant on speed of change, and co-morbidities
  3. Rate of Drop – the faster sodium levels drop the more symptomatic the patient often is (i.e. with long term hyponatraema the patient may be profoundly hyponatraemic but asymptomatic)
  4. Co-morbidities – Increasing sodium too quickly risks osmotic demyelination. How well will the patient cope with treatment?

Emergency treatment (hypertonic saline) is generally indicated in those with Severe Symptoms ONLY

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Influenza POCT (Adult)

The 2019-20 Flu season has arrived, and we need to be thinking about who to test and who to treat. Full guide HERE But don’t forget MERS!!

Q1. Do you suspect Flu?

  • Fever
  • Coryza
  • Arthralgia and/or Myalgia
  • Malaise
  • GI symptoms – with or without signs of respiratory/other involvement e.g. CN

Yes! – Respiratory precautions

  • Isolated in a side room
  • Surgical face mask worn on entry to room + gloves and apron
  • FFP3 mask or hood worn for aerosol generating procedures
  • Bare below the elbow / good quality hand hygiene
  • Proceed to Q2

 

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Lower Back Pain: Red & Yellow Flags

Each year 1:15 of the adult population will seek medical help for Lower Back Pain, that is 2.6 million patients in the UK. Most Lower Back Pain is not serious and will revolve within 8 weeks, with analgesia and self physio.

However, this is not the case for some. This may be due to serious underlying pathology ‘RED Flags‘, or psychological factors that indicate chronicity ‘Yellow Flags‘.

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Acidosis & VBG’s

We are frequently asked to check the lactate on Venous Blood Gases (VBG’s), by the nursing staff. However, remember to look at the first result (pH) it is the most important.

Acidosis: Unless you have a good reason (e.g. you know its due to DKA) you should be investigating and performing an Arterial Blood Gas (ABG)

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Parkinson’s Disease & can’t swallow

We all recognise the importance of ensuring patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) get their medication, but..

What do you do if the patient can’t swallow?

We will need to work out what alternative routes we could use, for example dispensable via NG or patches, and what dose. For an ED clinical it is most likely beyond us and we need help! However, that may be extremely difficult to get especially Out of Hours

pdmedcalc

Excellent website that can give you options – select the patients normal regime (initially just one line but you can add as many as needed) and press calculate.  It gives you a dispensable and patch dose, which can help the discussion with pharmacy about where we can get it