PEM Source

Your source for all things Pediatric Emergency Medicine

All posts with tag: "neuro"

Tips and Tricks

Success rates in infant lumbar punctures may be declining as we do fewer and fewer (doing fewer is a good thing, except that we get less experience). One thing that can improve success is early stylet removal. The stylet is kept in when entering the skin in order to avoid the very rare complication of intraspinal epidermoid tumors. However, once the needle is past the epidermis and dermis, such that a plug of skin tissue cannot be cored out by the hollow needle and deposited into the spinal canal, the stylet can be removed. Here are two excellent FOAMed discussions of this practice and the advantages: and
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

PEM Questions

(Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) A 12 year old boy with a history of ADHD on Adderall comes in for acute onset weakness of his bilateral upper arms, particularly on the right side. He had a viral URI 1 week ago with fever, cough, congestion, sore throat, from which he had recovered. For the past week, he did not take the Adderall because he had been sick and “forgot” to resume. On physical exam, his right arm is flaccid and motionless at his side, and he is unable to use it at all. He is able to lift his left arm partly against gravity, but it is weak. He has a low-grade fever of 38, and mild neck stiffness. His mental status is normal. [yop_poll id="71"]
(Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) A 2 year old child has a flat lesion of the entire left forehead and upper eyelid the color of light red wine that has been present since birth. The family has presented to the ED because they are concerned that the child has right sided weakness.   sturge-weber-1 [yop_poll id="64"]  
(Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) A 4 year old with ventriculoperitoneal shunt revision 1 month ago, presents with headache and vomiting and increased sleepiness according to mom. The patient is well appearing and nontoxic, tolerating po’s in the ED, and has a normal funduscopic and neurologic exam. He got acetaminophen 2 hours ago and has no headache currently. [yop_poll id="39"]
(Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) A 14 month old is brought in with lethargy and obtundation. The patient is breathing spontaneously and has stable vital signs. The parents admit that they were having a party with alcohol and recreational drugs present, and the toddler had been walking around. [yop_poll id="36"]
(Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) You are seeing a 5 year old fully immunized patient with 2 weeks of new onset bedwetting, 3 days of cough and fever, and 2 days of increased work of breathing. Initial POC labs are significant for a blood sugar of 450 and a pH of 7.11, Na 130, K 3.4. You start a 20 cc/kg NS bolus and send a full set of labs. The patient is complaining of headache and is lethargic initially, becoming increasingly obtunded over the first half hour in the ED. [yop_poll id="22"]
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"]
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


(Click the link to comment and to vote - voting not working through email, sorry!) Note: conundrums are not meant to have a “right” answer – they are to see how most people are practicing. Would love your comments also regarding your thought processes and the evidence behind your decisions. We can learn from each other! You are seeing a 4 year old in status epilepticus. The patient is not on anti-epileptics at home. The patient has received benzodiazepines x 3 and fosphenytoin 20 mg/kg. Glucose and electrolytes are normal. The patient is afebrile. [poll id="28"]
Do you do a CT and LP on all complex febrile seizure patients? [poll id="16"]

Oops! We detected that you are on mobile and in portrait mode.

Please turn your phone to landscape mode to view this website. If you are not on mobile, extend your browser window.