Quiz 77, July 24th, 2020

Welcome to the 24th FOAMed Quiz. 


Eefje, Nicole, Joep and Rick

Case courtesy of Assoc Prof Frank Gaillard, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 18269

Question 1

Scaphoid fractures are commonly seen in the Emergency Department but are also often missed. This can lead to non-union. Non-union often leads to post-traumatic osteoarthritis with chronic pain and stiffness.

Which of the following statements about diagnosis of scaphoid fractures is true?

A: Tenderness of the “anatomic snuffbox” has a low sensitivity and specificity

B: Combining anatomic snuffbox tenderness, scaphoid tubercle tenderness, and positive thumb longitudinal compression test (all three positive) has a high sensitivity and fair specificity

C: In the first week after injury scaphoid radiographs have a sensitivity of 95%

D: CT is the most accurate diagnostic test

The correct answer is B

Vivian Lei covered scaphoid fractures on Journal Feed this week.

Tenderness of the “anatomic snuffbox” alone has a sensitivity of 87-100% and a very low specificity. When you combine this with scaphoid tubercle tenderness and a positive thumb longitudinal compression test the sensitivity will still be very high and its specificity will rise to 74%.

A negative x-ray of the wrist does not exclude a scaphoid fracture as it has a sensitivity of only 80% in the first week after injury. MRI is most accurate for diagnosing scaphoid fractures (sensitivity of 94.2% and a specificity of 97.7%).

Case courtesy of Dr David Carroll, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 62774

Question 2

This systematic review from 2020, is about the prognostic value of ultrasonographic absence of cardiac motion during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The outcome the authors were looking for was Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) or survival to hospital admission or 24-h survival (depending on the outcomes in the original articles).

What percentage of patients with Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA) arrest without cardiac motion on ultrasound during CPR did meet the outcome criteria (ROSC or survival to hospital admission or 24-h survival)?

A: 0,5 percent

B: 4 percent

C: 7 percent

D: 13 percent

The correct answer is D

The Resus Room covered this systematic review last week

Results about prognostication using ultrasound in PEA-arrest were included from 10 papers. Half of which (5) reported ROSC as the primary outcome. A combined 188 patients had no cardiac motion on ultrasound of which 26 (13,8 percent) still achieved ROSC or survival to hospital admission or 24-h survival.

Indeed it seems quite a lot of patients (13,8 percent) still achieved ROSC or better. However, the vast majority of these cases (20 out of 26) came from one paper.

This brings up the issue of definition of cardiac motion (if only the valves are moving, is that a moving heart?) and even ROSC which may vary between physicians (and papers). Furthermore, this paper does not give us any numbers on survival to discharge with good neurologic outcome. 

Anyway these numbers tell us the absence of cardiac motion on its own does not mean you are dealing with a hopeless case as some of these patients may still achieve ROSC or better. On the other hand, combined with duration of CRP, underlying disease and age it can certainly help make the call to stop resuscitation efforts.

Ultrasound in Cardiac Arrest

Source image: www.pixabay.com

Question 3

Systemic toxicity of local anesthetics (LAST) is a feared complication of local anesthetic use. It is a very rare condition but one that is potentially lethal.

Early recognition of the signs and symptoms is therefore essential in order to start treatment as quickly as possible.

Which of the following statements about LAST is true?

A: Symptoms always start within 5 minutes of administration of local anaesthetic

B: Plenty of data supports the efficacy of Lipid Emulsion Therapy (LET) in LAST

C: Hypoxia and acidosis inhibit the effect of LET

D: Angioedema is often a first sign of LAST

The correct answer is C

Dana Loke from NUEM blog covered Lipid Emulsion Therapy for LAST this week. 

Onset of LAST is typically 30 seconds to 60 minutes after administration of the anesthetic but more often than not occurs within 1-5 minutes.

Not a lot of data exists about the efficacy of LET in LAST (in humans at least). But this is almost universal in the area of toxicology. 

Hypoxia and acidosis may inhibit lipid emulsion therapy and should therefore be treated in order to optimize the effect of the lipid emulsion therapy.

Angioedema is not typically seen in LAST.

Source image: www.aliem.com

Question 4

A healthy 7 year old boy presents to your ED with forearm fracture after a fall in the playground. For pain and efficient splint placement you use intranasal medication.

Which of the following statements is true about intranasal analgetic administration?

A: Repeated dosing is more often required with intranasal fentanyl compared to intravenous morphine

B: Intranasal fentanyl produces more nasal discomfort compared to intranasal midazolam

C: Intranasal ketamine is less effective for pain control compared to intranasal fentanyl

D: Intranasal fentanyl is equally effective compared to intravenous morphine in children with long-bone fractures

The correct answer is D

This week Aliem posted about intranasal medication in the Paediatric Emergency Department.

The use of intranasal fentanyl shows a more rapid pain-control, shorter length of stay and decrease in repeated dosing compared to intravenous morphine. It is equally effective compared to intravenous morphine in children with long-bone fracture.

Midazolam causes nasal burning and mucosal irritation, so also consider pre-treatment with intranasal lidocaine. Fentanyl does not have this effect.

Intranasal ketamine has been shown to be as effective compared to intranasal fentanyl. 

Question 5

Catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS) is a severe manifestation of antiphospholipid syndrome that involves widespread thrombosis.

Which of the following is most commonly seen with clinical presentation?

A: Respiratory involvement

B: Cardiac involvement

C: Renal failure

D: Skin manifestations

The correct answer is C

EMCrit covered Catastrophic Antiphospholipid Syndrome (CAPS) last week. 

CAPS is an often severe syndrome in which a range of antiphospholipid antibodies bind to cell walls and activate the classical complement system leading to widespread thrombosis and overall badness. 

Renal failure is most often present (75 percent of cases). 

One can speak of definite CAPS when these criteria are present:

  • Involvement of three or more organs, systems, or tissues
  • Development of manifestations simultaneously or in less than a week
  • Confirmation by histopathology of small vessel occlusion in at least one organ or tissue
  • Laboratory confirmation of the presence of anti-phospholipid antibodies (i.e., lupus anticoagulant and/or anti-cardiolipin antibodies)

Treatment options include steroids, heparin, and either plasmapheresis or IVIG.

Would you like to receive an e-mail every time a quiz is published? Please leave your e-mail address here:

This quiz was written by Eefje Verschuuren, Nicole van Groningen and Joep Hermans

Reviewed and edited by Rick Thissen