5 Fast Facts Friday

Welcome to the very first edition of 5 Fast Facts Friday!  This is a segment that will become available every Friday, and will include, just as the name implies, five fast facts. There may be a theme to this weekly post, or it may include five completely random puffs of FOAM.  My goal with Ditch Doc EM has been to keep each post as brief as possible, but you can be sure that 5F³ will be faster than the ticker of a WPW patient on cocaine!

  1. Green Vomit-  If a patient is vomiting green emesis, this is almost always a surgical emergency!  Just make sure the patient wasn’t drinking or eating something green to avoid serious embarrassment when you do your patient hand-off.

  2. A Better Valsalva- Next time you have a patient in stable SVT, instead of trying your usual vagal maneuvers, have your patient try to blow the plunger out of a 3cc or 5cc syringe for at least 15 seconds; as soon as the 15 seconds is up, lay them back flat and raise their legs to 45 degrees.  It really works!

  3. Pre-flight your patient- No, I’m not talking about getting them liquored up before heading to the bar, I’m talking about “the bends”.  Just like a diver who ascends to the surface too quickly, a patient that is flown by helicopter can experience the same nitrogen release.  This is even more prevalent in obese patients.  The answer- give ’em 15L via non re-breather mask for 15 minutes prior to flight (If you have that much time).

  4. Estimation of Systolic BP- This is a MYTH!!! Just because you can feel a radial pulse on your patient does not mean that they have a systolic blood pressure of 80 (or whatever number is going around).  Actually take a BP before making assumptions.  The human body is absolutely amazing, don’t let it surprise you when you can help it.

  5. Sick Beats- A patient who is entering into cardiogenic shock will often have an S3 heart tone.  A patient experiencing acute myocardial infarction will often have an S4 heart tone.


Thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoyed this first edition of 5F³!  I would really like to know what you thought about it, so if you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know by adding a comment below, or by visiting my contact page.   I am always looking for YOUR input!  Also please take this time to subscribe and share this blog with your colleagues.

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