Emergency Room Services
Nonspecific back pain is prevalent in emergency medicine with several underlying possibilities. Common diagnoses resulted from back pain include muscular strain, soft tissue injury, and intervertebral disc disorder. Serious diagnoses include epidural abscess, cauda equina syndrome, and retroperitoneal bleed.
Chest pain in emergency medicine has a wide spectrum of possibilities and requires an extensive workup in the emergency department. Common diagnoses resulted from chest pain include congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and pericarditis. Serious diagnoses include aortic dissection, acute coronary syndromes, and pulmonary embolism.
Common encounters with skin infections for emergency physicians include cellulitis, impetigo, cutaneous abscesses, and many others. Physicians focus on the severity of infections using an extensive workup of cultures and laboratory tests. Serious diagnoses include MRSA, necrotizing fasciitis, and scabies.
Emergency medicine physicians are exposed to multiple degrees of head trauma and must differentiate emergent head trauma and concussion, respectively. By considering high risk factors and imaging findings, severe trauma must be ruled out before assuming concussion. Patients are then informed of concussion protocol to follow on an outpatient basis.
Contusions and cuts:
Lacerations are a common chief complaint resulting in wound repair in the emergency department. Severity and proper course of action is evaluated through weakness or numbness to the site as well as depth and change in sensation. Proper wound repair and cleaning is then performed while considering possible need for immunization.
With a broad spectrum of possible diagnoses involving abdominal pain, differential diagnoses can be substantial. Common diagnoses include cholelithiasis, pancreatitis, appendicitis, and diverticulitis. Serious diagnoses include abdominal aortic aneurysm, bowel obstruction, and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Possibility for broken bones in the emergency department are initially evaluated by obtaining sufficient x-rays of the effective site. Splint application is most commonly performed in the emergency department as well as joint reduction depending on the injury. Post-splinting the patient is commonly given outpatient instructions as well as an orthopedic follow-up.
If fracture is ruled out with imaging, cause of injury points toward sprain. Depending on the severity and location of the sprain, splint application with an outpatient orthopedic follow-up is common. Patient’s are also instructed to limit bearing weight, elevating the affected area, and proper pain management.
Upper respiratory infections:
Common upper respiratory infections include sinusitis, strep, pharyngitis, and influenza. Serious upper respiratory infections include pulmonary edema and severe pleurisy, while serious lower respiratory infections include bronchitis and pneumonia. Treatment varies from over the counter decongestants to antibiotics and possible hospitalization.
Respiratory distress requires fast and emergent treatment and diagnosis in the emergency department. Common causes of respiratory distress include COPD exacerbation, asthma exacerbation, and congestive heart failure. Serious and less common causes include pneumonia, pneumothorax, and sepsis.
Stroke symptoms are considered severe in the emergency department until stroke or its equivalents are ruled out. Common symptoms are numbness/weakness to one side of the body, difficulty speaking, confusion, change in vision, and headache. Stroke-like symptoms present in a patient in the emergency department activates stroke protocol immediately.
When dealing with spinal injuries in emergency medicine, the time between the initial injury and emergent treatment is crucial. Emergency medicine physicians focus on stabilizing the injury immediately and providing a sufficient medical evaluation to rule out other complications from the injury before the patient is taken to surgery or trauma evaluation.
Common causes of syncope and fainting episodes include dehydration, electrolyte abnormality, and increased heat exposure. Serious causes include arrhythmia, acute blood loss, and pulmonary embolism. Narrowing possible diagnoses includes adequate patient history, risk factors, and laboratory evaluation.
As one of the leading causes of death in the United States, overdoses are increasingly common in emergency medicine. Whether intentional or unintentional, patient’s are monitored and stabilized immediately with focus on current airway and cardiac function.
Heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, can present itself with both minimal and multiple symptoms. In order to efficiently diagnose myocardial infarction in the emergency department, physicians work on a full cardiac workup to ensure diagnosis and sufficient results before accessed by cardiology.
Shock can be caused by a variety of serious medical emergencies. Common cause of shock in the emergency department include cardiac
complications, blood clots, hemorrhage, anaphylaxis, and severe infection (also known as septic shock). Treatment for shock in the emergency department ranges from administering fluids to an
emergent blood transfusion.
When exposed to massive bleeding in the emergency department physicians are trained to focus on stopping the bleeding to maintain stability of the patient. Causes of massive bleeding include acute trauma or injury, gastrointestinal bleed, and intracranial hemorrhage.