a difficult airway…

The Case.

The ‘Batphone’ alerted us of a 68 year old female who is postictal following two seizures in rapid succession. She has a history of ‘a brain tumour’.

P 120. BP 176 systolic !! GCS 8/15. Afebrile. Sats 98% (15L NRB + guedel airway).

She arrives direct to your resus bay 4-5 minutes later and she is actively seizing.

A) Obstructed (Guedel on floor). Trismus ++.

  • Bilateral nasopharyngeal airways inserted
  • Two-handed jaw thrust
  • Ventilating well on 100% BVM.

 B) Bilateral air entry. Sats 99% on O2. No added sounds.

 C) P 130 (sinus) BP 185 systolic. Diaphoretic. Warm peripheries.

  • 2x IVC inserted
  • 500mL N.Saline bolus

D) Actively seizing (GTCS with movement in all 4 limbs). Pupils 4mm (L+R).

  • 2x 5mg IV Midazolam (seizure resolved)
  • 1gram IV Phenytoin (loading commenced at cessation of seizure)

E) Temp 37*C. BSL 13. No rashes, contusions etc.

Impression:

Status Epilepticus (3x seizures with no return to normal mental state)

  • ? secondary to ‘brain tumour’ or associated haemorrhage
  • No other medical history available
  • “Family are bringing in her medications”

Following resolution of her seizure she remains obtunded, GCS (E1V1M4) 6/15 and still obstructing her airway. A decision is made to RSI for airway control and prevention of secondary brain injury, followed by urgent CT. Continue reading

just a tablespoon…

This is the story of a 59 year old man who presented to our ED with a complaint of haemoptysis. He is otherwise well, takes no regular medications and besides his ’50 per day’ smoking history (over 40-odd years) he has no health concerns or past medical problems.

On the morning of presentation he had his usual morning ‘cough and splutter’ and was surprised to find blood in his tissue. He then proceeding to expectorate a small blood clot. “Its not that big, just a tablespoon”. He may have had some right sided pleuritic chest pain with it.

He looks well, with no increased work of breathing. Room air saturations of 94%.  Good air entry with mild end expiratory wheeze. Normal cardiac examination.

This is his CXR…..

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