PEM Source

Your source for all things Pediatric Emergency Medicine

PEM Questions

You are caring for a 6yo oncology patient presenting in septic shock. Although he is oxygenating and ventilating well at this time, you plan to intubate him to reduce his metabolic work. The most important pre- treatment before rapid sequence intubation (RSI) is: (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="13"]
A family obtained tuna from the local farmer’s market and prepared it for dinner. The children thought the fish tasted weird, peppery or metallic, but the parents did not, and told the children to stop complaining and eat dinner. Within 20 minutes of consumption, the children complain of headache, dizziness, pruritis, abdominal cramping, and nausea. They appear somewhat flushed in the face, neck, and chest. (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="12"]
Which of the following cervical spine findings would you expect to be less common in a young child as compared to an adolescent or adult? (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="11"]  
Jellyfish (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="10"]
A 12yo girl presents to the ED in December with fever for 4 days, malaise, and pain in the right thigh gradually leading to her having difficulty walking. There is no history of trauma, although she did play a lot of basketball 1 week ago. She is alert and oriented. Physical exam of her leg is unremarkable except for diffuse pain. She has no rash nor joint swelling or erythema. Her vital signs are: temp 39.1, HR 165, RR 22, BP 85/44. Labs show an elevated WBC count with a bandemia, a BUN of 20 with a creatinine of 2.2, and mildly elevated transaminases with a bilirubin of 2.4. (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="9"]
A 19yo man presents with his 3rd bout of unremitting nausea and vomiting. He has been admitted twice before and treated with ondansetron and IV fluids. He was noted to take frequent long showers while admitted. (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="8"]
A 3 year old comes in after falling 3 feet from the top of a kiddie slide onto cement, hitting his head. His only +PECARN symptom is 2 episodes of vomiting in the 2 hours since the fall. The medical student seeing him states to you that he is PECARN+ and he has discussed CT with the parents. What is the approximate risk of clinically important traumatic brain injury in this patient? (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="7"]
A 10yo girl comes home from a family vacation to Florida in June, where she swam in the ocean. She has an itchy rash in the area covered by her bathing suit that started soon after swimming in the ocean and is still present 3 days later. Seabathers (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="6"]
A 16yo girl presents to the ED with symptoms and rash consistent with varicella (chickenpox). She was never vaccinated, as a personal family choice. She also recently gave birth. (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="5"]
A 19yo man presents with progressively worsening extremity numbness in a glove and stocking distribution and ataxia x 1 month. He has areflexia, weakness, and a wide-based gait on exam. (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [yop_poll id="4"]
NEW! Vote your answer and see what others voted for. Correct answer will be in Comments in a few days. A 14yo female soccer player comes to the ED complaining of bilateral knee pain x 1 month, right greater than left. She does not recall a specific traumatic injury or fall, nor of any knee swelling, popping, or locking. The pain is worse after soccer practice or a game, and after getting up from sitting for a prolonged period such as her 2-hour block classes. The pain is described as behind the knee cap. There is no knee effusion, and there is full active range of motion. She has been afebrile throughout the course. [yop_poll id="1"]
A 10yo boy obtained a pet rat from a commercial pet store. Upon returning home, his new pet promptly bit him. 5 days later, he has fever, chills, severe headache, polyarthralgias, and a maculopapular rash with some petechiae that developed after 2 days of fever. What organism is the most likely cause for the boy’s symptoms? A. Staphylococcus aureus B. Group A Streptococcus pyogenes C. Eikenella corrodens D. Rabies virus E. Streptobacillus moniliformus
A 16yo boy just returned from a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands. On the flight, he developed abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, which he initially attributed to airsickness. He came straight from the airport to the ED, and now he also complains of lingual and circumoral paresthesias, painful paresthesias of his hands and feet, feeling as though his teeth feel “loose”, and generalized weakness. Another classic symptom of this entity is: A. Urticaria and flushing B. Tachycardia C. Profuse watery diarrhea D. Paralysis E. Temperature reversal Also, if you’re interested in the Peds ID Antibiotics Question of the Week, you can find it here
You are conducting a study to compare the efficacy of a new bronchodilator against standard albuterol therapy in patients with acute asthma exacerbations. To reduce the possibility of selection bias in your study, the key element in your study design is: A. Blinding study participants so that they do not know which treatment has been selected for them, and do not change their subjective assessment of improvement in asthma symptoms B. Enrolling sufficient numbers of study participants to ensure an accurate estimate of the difference in treatment effects C. Randomizing study participants to ensure that the two groups studied are equivalent in potential confounding factors D. Only enrolling study participants > 2 years old, to avoid selecting bronchiolitis patients instead of asthma patients Also, if you’re interested in the Peds ID Antibiotics Question of the Week, you can find it here
A 17yo boy comes in with complaint of inability to breathe from the right nares. He was seen 2 days ago by his PMD and prescribed amoxicillin for sinusitis, but is not improving. He denies placing any foreign body in his nose. He was in an altercation at school and was hit in the nose 4 days ago. Which of the following would be the most appropriate treatment of this patient’s condition? Septal hematoma A. Change antibiotics to amoxicillin-clavulanate B. Attempt removal of foreign body C. Incision and drainage and nasal packing D. Referral to otorhinolaryngologist for polyp removal Also, if you’re interested in the Peds ID Antibiotics Question of the Week, you can find it here
Which of the following wild animal exposures is the lowest risk for rabies?
  1. Skunk
  2. Coyote
  3. Raccoon
  4. Fox
  5. Rabbit
Also, if you’re interested in the Peds ID Antibiotics Question of the Week, you can find it here
A 36-week infant is born precipitously NSVD to a 17yo G2P1 mother in the ED after the mother presented with the chief complaint of intermittent abdominal pain. Apgars are 8 and 9 at 1 and 5 minutes, with -1 for color at both times and -1 for reflex irritability at 1 minute. The O2 sat in the left upper extremity is 82% at 5 minutes. The baby is crying intermittently, is not pale or plethoric, and is in no respiratory distress. Lung sounds are equal and clear bilaterally, and cardiac exam is normal. The next best intervention is: A. Intubate and mechanically ventilate B. Suction and apply 100% O2 C. Suction and apply nasal canula O2 at 5 L/min D. Transilluminate the chest to r/o pneumothorax E. Continue to observe the infant Check back in a few days for my answer and others' comments Also, if you're interested in the Peds ID Question of the Week, you can find it here
A 10yo girl is sitting lapbelted in the rear of an SUV that is involved in a rear-end collision at 40mph. She complains of abdominal pain, and has an ecchymosis from the lapbelt going across her lower abdomen. Of the following, which is the LEAST likely injury the patient may have: A. Small bowel injury B. Kidney injury C. Horizontal vertebral body fracture in lower spine D. Spinal cord injury Check back in a few days for my answer and others' comments Also if you're interested in the Peds ID question of the week, go here
A 7yo patient with peanut allergy at a rice krispy treat at a birthday party and discovered afterwards that it was made with peanut butter. She presents with hives, mild swelling of her lower lip and periorbital, and some faint wheezes. O2 sat is 99% on room air. Vital signs are temp 37.6, HR 120, RR 28, BP 90/60. What is your first priority treatment? A. Diphenhydramine 1.25 mg/kg IV B. Epinephrine 0.01 mg/kg of 1mg/mL solution IM C. Methylprednisolone 2 mg/kg IV D. Normal saline 20 cc/kg IV E. RSI and prophylactic intubation Check back in a few days for my answer and others' comments Also, if you're interested in the Peds ID question of the week, go here
A 2 month old ex-30 week premie just discharged from the NICU comes in with respiratory distress and hypoxia. You determine that the patient needs to be intubated. The baby’s weight at discharge was 2.5 kg. What size ETT should you use? A. 2.5 uncuffed B. 3.0 uncuffed C. 3.0 cuffed D. 3.5 uncuffed E. 3.5 cuffed Check back in a few days for my answer and others' comments Also, if you're interested in the Peds ID question of the week, go here
Of the following fractures, which is most concerning for non-accidental trauma? A. 18 month old brought in for refusing to walk, no history of any trauma or fall. Toddlerfx (source medscape) B. 18 month old brought in for refusing to walk, history of falling from a jungle gym approximately 3 feet off the ground. Cornerfx (source C. Both are concerning for non-accidental trauma D. Neither are concerning for non-accidental trauma Check back in a few days for my answer and others' comments
You are seeing a 12yo child with right ear pain for 2 days. He has been swimming recently. On examination, he has pain when you pull on the pinna of the ear to straighten the canal, and the canal is swollen and full of purulent discharge. He is afebrile and has no previous history of ear infection. Which of the following is FALSE regarding the management of this patient? A. Systemic antibiotics play no role B. If the patient had a history of pressure equalization tubes, neomycin + polymyxin B + hydrocortisone (cortisporin) drops would be contraindicated C. The patient should be advised not to swim while undergoing treatment D. Pain can be treated with antipyrine + benzocaine (auralgan) drops E. Fluoroquinolone drops are the most commonly used antibiotic therapy
Which of the following is true about Clostridium difficile? A. It is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea B. The treatment of choice for C. diff colitis is IV vancomycin C. Asymptomatic carriage in children < 1 year old is common D. A and B E. A and C
A 14yo boy presents with fever and chest pain for 2 days. The chest pain is pleuritic and worse with leaning back. On examination, lung sounds are clear bilaterally, heart is regular with no murmurs, but a friction rub is heard. Which of the following is true of this condition? A. Treatment of choice is NSAID therapy B. All patients must be admitted to the hospital on a cardiac monitor C. CXR is always abnormal D. Electrocardiogram most commonly shows ST elevation isolated to leads II, III, and aVF E. Pain is rarely referred to shoulder or back
A 5yo uncircumcised boy comes in because his parents are unable to retract the foreskin of his penis. They have not been able to retract it ever, but now note also that he is having ballooning of the foreskin when he urinates. On exam, the opening of the foreskin is very tight. Appropriate treatment includes: A. Forceful retraction of the foreskin to break any adhesions B. Topical steroid cream and close follow-up C. Topical estrogen cream and close follow-up D. Emergent consultation with a urologist for immediate circumcision E. Reassurance that the condition will resolve by age 10 years
A 20kg child sustains a 15% body surface area burn. The best answer for the rate of IV fluids that should be administered over the first 8 hours is: A. 60 cc/hr B. 75 cc/hr C. 120 cc/hr D. 135 cc/hr E. 150 cc/hr
What is the difference between Enhanced 911 and 911? A. With Enhanced 911, operators are able to give instructions on how to perform CPR in the field B. With Enhanced 911, EMS response times are under 10 minutes C. With Enhanced 911, ALS units are available, whereas with 911 only BLS units are available D. With Enhanced 911, the caller’s location and phone number is automatically transmitted to the operator E. With Enhanced 911, calls are routed by type to specific specialized call centers
A 6yo child is brought in after rescue from a housefire. He is unconscious, and has soot in his nares. You perform rapid sequence intubation. Vital signs are: Temp 37.5, HR 120, BP 68/40, O2 saturation 100%. You note a cherry red color to his skin. What is the antidote most indicated? A. Methylene blue B. 2-PAM C. Hydroxocobalamin D. Sodium bicarbonate E. Naloxone
A 12yo boy with ALL, recent induction chemotherapy 2 weeks ago, presents to the ED with fever, RLQ abdominal pain, 2 episodes of watery diarrhea with streaks of blood, nausea but no vomiting. Denies ill contacts. On exam, temperature 38.4, HR 110, RR 24, BP 95/60. Alert, no nuchal rigidity, lungs clear to auscultation, heart RRR, abdomen mildly distended, RLQ tenderness, no rebound, decreased bowel sounds. Labs show an absolute neutrophil count of 100. KUB findings are similar to as shown here: pneumatosis The most appropriate next step would be: A. Consult surgeon for appendectomy B. Admit for IV antibiotics directed at treating infectious diarrhea C. Admit for empiric IV antibiotics to cover for fever and neutropenia D. Admit for broad spectrum antibiotics, make NPO, consult with surgeon, consider GCSF, for neutropenic enterocolitis E. Consult gastroenterologist for endoscopy to confirm pseudomembranous colitis
According to the Belmont report, the 3 main ethical principles for conducting research involving human subjects are: A) Beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice B) Respect for persons, beneficence, justice C) Respect for persons, beneficence, nonmaleficence D) Beneficence, justice, informed consent E) Nonmaleficence, justice, informed consent
A 17yo boy presents with severe sore throat for two days, and fever to 39. He has difficulty swallowing due to pain. He has no cough, congestion, nor ill contacts. His immunizations are up to date. On examination, he is alert, has no respiratory distress or stridor. His oropharynx has 2+ tonsils which are somewhat red, no exudate, no vesicles, no peritonsillar swelling. He has tender cervical lymphadenopathy and is very tender on palpation of his anterior neck at the level of the hyoid bone. The most appropriate management is: A. Obtain lateral neck X-ray in the ED and consult ENT specialist B. Consult ENT specialist to intubate the patient in the O.R. C. Give dexamethasone and penicillin-benzathine and discharge home D. Recommend supportive care for a viral URI E. Obtain a CT scan to evaluate for deep neck infection
A 12yo boy with very high risk ALL, recent chemotherapy 4 days prior, presents to the ED with fever and lethargy. Temperature is 39C, HR 180, RR 24, BP 80/50.  The patient is lethargic, has no nuchal rigidity, lungs are clear to auscultation, heart is tachycardic but regular rate and rhythm, abdominal exam is benign, and there is no rash. Pulses are bounding, there is flash capillary refill, skin is warm and dry. After adequate fluid resuscitation, cultures, and empiric antibiotics, the patient remains hypotensive. The next best treatment is: A. Dopamine IV at 5 mcg/kg/min B. Epinephrine IV at 0.1 mcg/kg/min C. Norepinephrine IV at 0.1 mcg/kg/min D. Dobutamine IV at 5 mcg/kg/min E. Hydrocortisone 1 mg/kg IV
All of the following preclude expectant outpatient management in the case of an ingested button battery found by imaging to be in the stomach except: A. Co-ingestion of a magnet B. Child complains of abdominal pain C. Child has history of constipation D. Battery is > 15mm diameter and has been present > 4 days in a child < 6 years old E. N/A; ingested batteries should always be endoscopically removed
A 6yo boy is in the ED with his third episode of intussusception over the past year. Previous episodes presented with colicky abdominal pain and stool guaiac positive, and were successfully managed using barium enemas. He has been completely well between episodes. What imaging study is indicated to assess for the most common cause of a pathologic lead point? A. Complete ultrasound of the abdomen B. Computed tomography of the abdomen with oral and IV contrast C. Upper gastrointestinal study with small bowel follow-through D. Technetium-99m-pertechnetate scintigraphy E. Magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen
Which of the following is true of EMT scopes of practice (EMT-B = EMT-Basic, EMT-I = EMT-Intermediate, EMT-P = Paramedic)?
  1. Only EMT-I and Paramedic level EMT’s can administer oxygen
  2. Training to become an EMT-B is usually 100-150 hours
  3. Training to become a Paramedic is an additional 250 hours of training
  4. IV therapy may be given by EMT-I and EMT-P
A. 1 and 3 B. 2 and 4 C. 1, 2, and 3 D. 4 only E. All of the above
A 10yo was a rear seat passenger in a high-speed MVA, belted only with a lapbelt, and had a hyperflexion injury mechanism during impact. The patient cannot move his legs, and does not have lower extremity sensation to light touch or temperature sensation, but does have intact proprioception and vibration sense. What is the injury?
  1. Anterior cord syndrome
  2. Brown-Sequard cord syndrome
  3. Central cord syndrome
  4. Chance fracture
17yo boy with long legs and arms, h/o scoliosis and mild pectus excavatum, hyperextensibility of the thumbs, presents with sudden onset ripping quality chest pain and feeling lightheaded. On exam, patient is anxious appearing, afebrile, HR 105, BP 98/45, RR 14, pulse ox 98% RA, alert, HEENT non-revealing, Lungs BCTA, Cor RRR with mid-systolic click followed by a late systolic murmur at the apex, Abd soft ND NT, Extremities and Skin non-contributory.  Of the following, which diagnostic study is the best choice? A) POC troponin B) Arterial blood gas C) Bedside ultrasound looking for lung sliding D) CT angiogram E) CT abdomen
For aeromedical transport, transport mode transitions from helicopter to fixed wing aircraft when the distance from base station to patient pick-up location exceeds how many miles? A) 70 miles B) 150 miles C) 200 miles D) Distance is not a factor
A child is brought in with a stab wound to the right neck just superior to the cricoid cartilage. What zone of the neck is this? What is the significance of the zones?
A 2 year old is brought in that has chewed on an electrical cord. He has a scab in the corner of his mouth and no active bleeding and is otherwise well appearing with no other trauma. What delayed complication can occur?
In a population of 1,000 people, 100 have a disease. A test is positive in 95 people with the disease and 100 people without the disease. What is the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of this test?

Tips and Tricks

Some tips and tricks for examining children's throats:
  1. Don't do it until after you've gotten your lung, heart, and abdomen exam - once you make them cry, it's game over
  2. A helpful position for young children is to sit on the parent's lap facing the parent, legs straddling the parent. Then, have the parent lean the child back so he/she is laying supine on the parent's knees with the head hanging back (the dentist chair view)
  3. Older children can be asked to pant like a dog, scream, or sing "ah ah ah ah ah" opera-style
  4. Sometimes if you do the ear exam first, the child will yell and then you can see the throat
Placing topical anesthetic (EMLA, LMX4) on skin abscesses may result in spontaneous drainage, precluding need for incision. If topical anesthetic doesn't result in spontaneous drainage, it at least provides some skin anesthesia prior to local anesthetic injection for incision and drainage procedure. In one published retrospective study, 26 of 110 patients with the topical anesthetic LMX4 placed had spontaneous drainage, 3 of whom required no further intervention:
Thanks to Tim Horeczko for tube-tape-tap mnemonic Peds Sizing  
What do you do if you have a patient with a tooth avulsion and no commercial periodontal dressing? You can use the flexible thin metal nasal bridge on an N95 mask and glue the reimplanted avulsed tooth to an adjacent tooth using 2-octocyanoacrylate skin adhesive (made for laceration repair). N95 maskN95 mask, See this discussed in an trick of the trade See more on tooth avulsion management from NCEMI Common Simple Emergencies
We all know the importance of lining up the two sides of a laceration that goes through the vermillion border of a lip laceration. Injecting lidocaine or swelling from the trauma itself can make this difficult. Use a skin marker to outline the the vermillion border on each side, making this easier. Vermillion border closing the gap This photo comes from this great tutorial on Closing the Gap For lip lacerations requiring repair beyond simple alignment, consult a plastic surgeon. Here is an interesting discussion on Plastic Surgery Key
The Katz extractor is a great tool for removing nasal foreign bodies, as shown on the video here (I have no financial interests in this product). But, if you don't have one available, get a Fogarty cardiac embolectomy catheter from the O.R., and this will do nicely as well. For many many tips and tricks on removing foreign bodies in the head and neck, go to PEMplaybook
A young girl comes in c/o dysuria and the urine is stone cold normal. What else can explain her symptoms? (BTW, you must do a GU exam at this point). Adhesions (labial) Bubble bath (and other soaps, irritants) Candida (particularly if recently on antibiotics, or at risk for new onset diabetes) Detergent (harsh laundry detergent, new tight clothing / underwear) Enterobius (aka pinworms) Foreign body (typically toilet paper) Gonorrhea & chlamydia (in sexually active or sexually abused) Hygiene, poor (teach girls to wipe front to back, consider having them sit on toilet backwards to urinate, especially if they are overweight/obese, to encourage complete voiding and keep urine from collecting in vagina) Irritation (masturbation is a common normal behavior in preschoolers)
Easily remember the approximate Oxygen-Hemoglobin dissociation curve as follows: PaO2 40 corresponds to SaO2 70% PaO2 50 corresponds to SaO2 80% PaO2 60 corresponds to SaO2 90% This rule along with a lot of other handy RT knowledge can be found here Read more about PaO2 vs SaO2 at here
For minor procedures in the PED, analgesia, anxiolysis, and distraction are the most important therapies to promote cooperation and procedural success. See our algorithm for procedural pain here. But sometimes, even with all of those, physical restraint is needed. Most PEM practitioners know how to wrap a child up using a simple bedsheet folded lengthwise twice, and then wrapped over one arm, behind the back, and over the other arm, and then around the child as seen here. Another technique if you have a pillowcase is to put both arms behind the child into a pillowcase and then lay the child down onto the pillowcase, thus restraining the arms (see picture below). (This technique was published under the colorful name "Superhero Cape Burrito" here). Finally, a c-collar can be useful to immobilize the head for face and scalp laceration repairs. pillowcase-restraint
Mucosal atomizer devices improve administration of intranasal medications. Intranasal fentanyl 1.5 mcg/kg is a great way to give stronger pain medication (eg for fractures) without placing an IV. Intranasal midazolam 0.2 mg/kg (use concentrated 5mg/mL form to keep total volume < 1mL per nostril) can be used to treat active seizures when no IV access is yet obtained, or as an anxiolytic for procedures. Intranasal naloxone at a standard dose of 4 mg is being provided to opiate addicts to use in case of overdose. A commercial device is available, but currently some lots are being recalled (check here for recalled lots), or you may simply not have one in stock. Here's how to make an improvised atomizer courtesy of Faisal Alghamdi of KFMC Riyadh. Hook up a 3 way stopcock with the lever turned so that all 3 ports are open to 1) a 14 or 16 gauge angiocath, 2) a syringe with the medication you wish to deliver, and 3) oxygen tubing. Hook the other end of the oxygen tubing up to oxygen and turn up to 5-10 L/min. Place the angiocath in the nostril and gently & slowly depress the plunger of the medication. See picture and video below. img_1123 Click here to see a video and compare to commercial device here
You're seeing a 5 day old with a fever of 39. Attempts to get IV access have been unsuccessful. The child is alert and not toxic appearing, but you'd like to get empiric antibiotics started within the first hour of evaluation. What are your options other than drilling with an IO or embarking on a potentially long sweaty frustrating attempt at a central line in a neonate? An ultrasound-guided peripheral line is one possibility if you have the skills. Another vascular access method to keep in mind is the umbilical venous line - the umbilical vein can stay patent up to 7-10 days of life! Soak the dry cord in saline soaked gauze to soften it, use a scalpel to cut straight across at 1-2cm from the base, look for the single large vein, insert a pre-flushed catheter with gentle pressure into the vein while pulling back on a syringe until you see a flash of blood. For more info: The "Fast-cath" technique advocates using a 14 gauge angiocath Find resources for born out of asepsis babies on our algorithms page, including how to make umbilical venous catheter mini kits to keep in your ED.
Use a glass test tube or specimen tube to press on a rash to see if it blanches - remember, petechiae and purpura don't blanch. You can also use a glass test tube as a mini-anoscope to blanch surrounding mucosa and assist in identifying anal fissures in infants. (Anal fissures are one of the many possible causes of GI bleeding in children - check out's latest podcast on GI bleeding) glass_test-focus-none-width-800 (From  
Check out these cuties that CHOC PED physician and former Harbor PEM fellow Seth Brindis makes! See below for step-by-step instructions and more ideas for toys to make with medical supplies. Tongue Depressor Puppets Here are instructions put together by Seth, and a video of them in action. And here are some more ideas for toys to make in the PED (thanks to former Harbor PEM fellow Casey Buitenhuys for the glowstick idea): make-your-own-toys
What can you do if your patient is maxed out on ondansetron but still feels nauseated? A recent study in Annals EM found a positive treatment effect of deeply inhaling from a standard isopropyl alcohol pad held 2.5 cm from the patient's nose. Patients inhaled for 60 seconds at 0, 2, and 4 minutes (stopping if nausea resolved), and nausea was rated up to time 10 minutes. (Caveat: this study enrolled only adults). A 2012 Cochrane review also found isopropyl alcohol inhalation beneficial, although less so than standard antiemetic medications. Also, anecdotally, for dehydrated patients, rehydration and resolution of ketosis is thought to improve nausea and vomiting. For the grammar police out there, clarification of nauseated vs nauseous can be found here
Measure your fingernails to see which is closest to 1cm - now you will always have a 1cm "ruler" with which to measure lesions, lacerations, discolorations, etc. Measure nail  
Use a sterile saline respiratory ampule: wet the fluorescein strip with the saline, squeeze out half of the saline, then suck the yellow fluorescein liquid back up into the ampule. Now you can use the ampule as an eyedropper. For uncooperative kids, lay them supine and squeeze the liquid into the medial corner of the closed eye - when they open their eyes it will run into the eye. Respiratory Ampules ( For additional methods, see AliEM's great tricks of the trade post at:
Cut a narrow caliber ETT short to create a semi-rigid suction catheter for foreign body removal of the nose or ears.  (From EM News September 2009, Tricks of the Trade: An Improvised, Semi-Rigid, Nasal/Aural Suction Catheter, by Timothy McGuirk DO)
For a forhead laceration, place gauze over patient's eye and hairline, cut a hole in center of a large tegaderm, peel and stick with the laceration positioned in the middle of the hole. Now you can use tissue adhesive to close the laceration without worrying about the adhesive running into the patient's eye, hair, or down the face.
Explain to parents - colds are called colds because viruses thrive in cold temperatures, so fevers are the body's natural way to fight off the cold
Use a laryngoscope upside down as a tongue blade, or use a self-lighting pelvic exam speculum (remove top half of the speculum)


You are about to incise and drain a relatively small simple abscess in a healthy child. (Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) [poll id="17"]
Do you do a CT and LP on all complex febrile seizure patients? [poll id="16"]
What do you include in your GI cocktail for adolescents? [poll id="15"]
You are seeing a 4 year old with a deep cheek laceration with irregular margins, under some tension. The parents express concerns about scarring, and they are also concerned that their child will definitely not be able to stay still for repair or for suture removal. Plastic surgery is unavailable, and the parents are amenable to having you repair the laceration with procedural sedation. Forheadlac (Source: Closing the Gap [poll id="14"]
You are seeing a 5 year old with intermittent LLQ abdominal pain for a month. She is well appearing and has a benign abdominal exam. She is eating normally, not vomiting, and has no fever or diarrhea. The parents deny constipation or hard stools, but you suspect constipation is the diagnosis. [poll id="13"]
You are seeing a 6 week old ex-full term infant who is breastfeeding exclusively, having 6 wet diapers per day, 4 or more soft seedy stools per day, growing well, and no fever. Baby has been jaundiced since 1st week of life, and while it is not worse, parents come in because it is prolonged. Jaundice is to the level of the chest, and transcutaneous bili is 10. [poll id="12"]
It's RSV season and you're seeing a 30 day old ex-39 week infant with a runny nose. The resident has ordered a POC RSV, which is positive. The baby is afebrile, feeding well, and nontoxic. Do you admit the infant just for being RSV positive due to the risk of apnea in this age group? [poll id="11"]
You are seeing a 6 year old with a wet-sounding cough for 4 days and fever to 39 C for 3 days. You hear crackles in the right lower lobe; there is no wheezing. CXR shows no infiltrates. Do you diagnose a "clinical pneumonia" with false negative CXR and treat with antibiotics? [poll id="10"]
Vote! But for something other than President... You are seeing a 3mo old with clinical bronchiolitis who is otherwise well-appearing, tolerating po's, not in significant respiratory distress, afebrile, has good follow-up. At what O2 sat do you admit the patient for supplementary O2? The AAP says: aap-bronchiolitis-o2-sat [poll id="9"]
3 week old infant is brought in with fever of 38.5. The baby is well appearing and does not have any high risk factors in the birth history. You plan to get urine, blood, and CSF cultures and give empiric IV antibiotics. [poll id="8"]
You are seeing a 35 month old boy with fever and sore throat x 2 days. He has no cough or runny nose, but his sister also had fever and sore throat recently, and his mom has a cough. His temp is 38.5. He has no tonsillar exudate or palatal petechiae, and only tender cervical lymphadenopathy. He is otherwise well appearing, previously healthy, and is well hydrated. [poll id="6"]
Nearly 3 year old girl was eating nuts and had a coughing episode. 6 year old sibling told parents "she's choking on the nuts." In the ED, patient is completely asymptomatic, has a normal CXR and a 100% O2 sat on room air. [poll id="7"]
You are seeing a 15 month old female with 36 hours of fever, current temp in ED 38.9 rectal (last antipyretic 6 hours prior), no other symptoms, well-appearing, no past medical history. Which would you do? [poll id="5"]
How much work-up do you do in the well-appearing, term, feeding, 29-60 day old infant with low-grade fever (38-38.5) without source? What about the 61-89 day old? [poll id="2"]
You're seeing a febrile well-appearing 29-60 day old with clear lab evidence of UTI and benign CBC. Do you do an LP? Do you admit and do you give parenteral antibiotics? What about for a 61-90 day old?
When was the last time you saw a kid have a paradoxical reaction to a benzo and how did you treat it? a. Wait it out b. More benzos c. Flumazenil d. Haldol e. Something else???  Have heard precedex, ketamine, propofol all suggested. Click post to read and add comments
You're seeing a 10yo who weighs 40 kg for acute asthma exacerbation. Do you give decadron or prednisone? If you give decadron, do you give 0.6 mg/kg or a lower dose? What is your maximum dose of decadron for asthma? Click post to read and add comments [poll id="4"]

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