Quiz 80, August 14th, 2020

Welcome to the 80th FOAMed Quiz. 


Eefje, Nicole, Joep and Rick

Question 1

A 28 year old patient is brought in by prehospital services for ‘medical clearance’ before he will be evaluated by psychiatry for acute psychosis. His history and physical are unremarkable.

You wonder if doing labs and a urine tox screen would be beneficial.

What does the current literature say about routine laboratory investigations and drugs screen for ‘medical clearance’ of this patient?

A: Routine labs and tox screen are indicated, because in more than 10 percent of patients an acute medical condition is found

B: Routine labs are not indicated, but routine tox screening is, because it often changes disposition

C: Routine labs and tox screening are not indicated, because an acute medical problem is very rare in patients with normal history and physical

The correct answer is C

Justin Morgenstern covered routine testing in psychiatric patients this week. 

The current body of literature says routine laboratory testing does not lead to identification of more acute medical problems compared to history and physical exam alone. 

Tox screen will be positive quite frequently, but does not change management or disposition.


Question 2

Source image: pixabay.com

Your 52 year old patient presents with a stroke. His NIHSS score is 13. CT shows no bleed and you decide to start Intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and evaluate the patient for intra arterial treatment. 

Suddenly your patient develops unilateral swelling of the tongue. Which of the following statements is true about this condition?

A: Angioedema is very rare in patients receiving tPA

B: This type of angioedema is most likely bradykinin mediated

C: The chance of this patient needing intubation or a surgical airway is high

D: Fresh frozen plasma (FFP), C1-inhibitor concentrate, icatibant and ecallintide are proven beneficial in tPA mediated angioedema

The correct answer is B

EMdocs covered adverse effects of tPA this week. 

Angioedema is estimated to occur in 1.3 – 5.1% of stroke patients receiving tPA.

Although the pathophysiology of tPA induced angioedema is poorly understood, it is thought to involve complement and plasmin mediated bradykinin release.

The majority of cases are mild and self-limiting. Few will progress to life threatening levels of edema and airway compromise 

Fresh frozen plasma (FFP), C1-inhibitor concentrate, icatibant, ecallintide, and even TXA are potential medical therapies, but no direct evidence for their use in tPA induced angioedema so far.

Question 3

Source image: pixabay.com

A 49 year old patient presents to you ED feeling generally unwell. He has been drinking a bottle of vodka every day for the last month and has been admitted for alcohol intoxication a couple of times. He wants to quit. 

Which of the following risk scores can help you predict the alcohol withdrawal severity?

A: PAWWS score

B: DSM5 criteria

C: CIWA-Ar score

D: SHOT scale 

The correct answer is A

EMOttawa covered alcohol withdrawal in the ED last week. 

Perhaps deserving more attention than it does (at least in Dutch ED’s), alcohol withdrawal is quite common. 

The PAWWS (Prediction of Alcohol Withdrawal Severity Scale) score helps you predict the alcohol withdrawal severity. 

Alcohol withdrawal is diagnosed by the DSM5 criteria. 

The CIWA-Ar (Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol scale) score objectifies alcohol withdrawal severity to help guide therapy.

The Sweating Hallucinations Orientation and Tremor (SHOT) score is a simple 4 item score which focuses on the objective signs of withdrawal and can help you guide therapy and disposition as well. 

Question 4

In most cases, there is little or no benefit of arterial blood gas over venous blood gas. But does the patient care?

The recently published VEINART Trial compared maximal experienced pain levels during venous and arterial blood gas sampling in non-hypoxemic patients by using a visual analog scale (VAS) on a 0 to 100 scale.

What did the author find?

A: Mean maximal experienced pain was significantly higher in the VBG group compared to the ABG group 

B: Mean maximal experienced pain was similar in both groups

C: Mean maximal experienced pain was significantly lower in the VBG group compared to the ABG group 

The correct answer is C

Salim Rezaie from REBEL EM covered The VEINART Trial this week.

This relatively small (n= 113) multicenter, open-label, randomized, prospective clinical trial in 4 French EDs found a total difference in mean maximal pain of 17.9 points (95% CI; 9.6 -26.3; p<0.0001) between VBG (mean 22.6; +/- 24.9) and ABG sampling (40.5; +/- 20.2).

In (by far) most cases a venous blood gas will be all you need. 

Question 5

Your 60 year old patient tells you that he went for a run and fell on an outstretched hand. The elbow was painful and had a deviating position. You diagnose the patient with a posterior elbow dislocation.

Which of the following is true about elbow dislocations?

A: About 80% of elbow dislocations are posteriorly

B: Brachial artery disruption occurs in a quarter of the patients that present with a elbow dislocation

C: After reduction a splint is only indicated in case of concomitant fractures

D: Elbow dislocations with fractures always need surgical stabilisation

The correct answer is A

ALiEM covered elbow injuries this week.

Posterior dislocations are the most common type of elbow dislocation (80%). Simple elbow dislocations are characterised by the absence of a major associated fracture, aside from small periarticular avulsion fractures.

Neurovascular examination should be performed to assess for brachial artery, median nerve and ulnar nerve injuries. Brachial artery disruption is the most serious complication and it occurs in 5-13% of the cases.

Stable reductions should be immobilised in a posterior splint with 90 degrees of elbow flexion for 3-5 days.

The terrible triad is an elbow dislocation with associated fractures of the radial head and coronoid process and in these cases surgical intervention is recommended. 

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

Reviewed and edited by Rick Thissen