headache for all…

The Case.

A 28 year old female presents to your ED at 2am. She left the hospital 12 hours earlier with her newborn first child who is now 2 and half days old. Her main complaint is that of profound lethargy, fatigue, severe worsening bifrontal headache and breathlessness.

She is normally fit and well, takes no regular medications & has no significant past medical history. Her pregnancy was uneventful, but her delivery (at 39 weeks) was slightly hair-raising with foetal distress & decelerations due to an obstructive labour (requiring a ventouse).

She looks lethargic and is laying quietly in bed, but is speaking in full sentences. Her observations are within normal limits, but her BP catches your eye at 154/89. Her cardiorespiratory exam is unremarkable (specifically, her chest is clear, there are no murmurs & I cannot see a JVP). Her belly is soft with a palpable uterus, midway between  umbilicus & pubic symphysis. She has no peripheral oedema. Her GCS is 15 with reactive pupils and normal cranial nerves. She has impressively brisk reflexes (you don’t need your tendon hammer) and her power/tone/sensation appear symmetrical & normal.

Her bloods are completely normal! (FBC, LFTs, PLTs, even the CRP) !!

Now what ??

Continue reading

big black spider…

The Case.

A sunny Saturday morning in Sydney and your 56 year old patient was just outside doing some gardening when they feel a rather sharp bite on their right hand (on webspace between thumb and index finger).

He arrives to the ED distressed and very anxious. His vitals signs are normal and he has localised pain only.

He then hands you this saying “this is the bugger that bit me !!”  …..


Where do you go from here ??

Continue reading

observing the occult…

The case:

A motorcyclist is minding his own business, stationary at a set of lights and is rear-ended by a car at ~60-70km/h. He is thrown 10 meters or so from his bike and lands on his left side. Remarkably he is systemically well, except for significant left lateral chest wall pain !!

You think he has reduced air-entry on the left side, but is he’s not dyspnoeic, nor hypoxic. The remainder of his primary survey is unremarkable.

This is his supine CXR…

EFAST showed no evidence of free intraperitoneal fluid, but this is what I saw on the chest….

Continue reading