Community acquired pneumonia / Neumonía adquirida en la comunidad.

Diagnosis will be based on the clinical presentation and the results from a plain chest x-ray. There are very sensitive and specific symptoms and signs that will form a “constellation” most associated with pneumonia. X-ray will then confirm the suspicion. Although, it must be said that older patients my have different signs and symptoms like…

Infective endocarditis diagnostic criteria / Endocarditis infecciosa, criterios diagnósticos.

Criteria can be quickly summarized in: Major clinical criteria (or pathological criteria) – Evidence of either valve damage or evidence of microorganisms within the bloodstream: Positive ecocardiography for infective endocarditis: vegetation, abscess, dehiscence of prosthetic valve. 2 separated positive blood cultures for typical IE microorganisms, or a single one for Cox. Burnetti. Minor clinical criteria…

Gallstone disease in adults / Cólico biliar en el adulto.

Abdominal pain is very common in the emergency department. Plenty of times patients complain of pain, but the physical examination results completely normal. Because of WHERE it hurts (upper right quadrant), suspicion of gallstone diseases rises. Things get tricky when lab results are normal, and the possibility of a final diagnosis in the ED disappears…

Cardiac tamponade / Taponamiento cardiaco.

A major complication of trauma and pericarditis, and a feared cause of hypotension and obstructive shock, cardiac tamponade occurs when there’s fluid in the pericardial space. This may be from effusion (pericarditis, serositis) or blood, such as in thoracic trauma. As the heart is “imprisoned” within its own pericardium, diastole is restricted, and ultimately systole…

Abdominal pain in the ED / Dolor abdominal en urgencias.

While very common in the emergency department, abdominal pain can be challenging, since the causes range from functional disorders, non severe organic diseases up to bad acute abdomen real life threatening emergencies. Women and elderly patients represent an even more challenging population due to an expanded list of possible diseases and higher frequency of atypical…

Pediatrics: Viral meningitis in children.

Most feverish children who are brought to the ED may only have “tos and mocos” (coughing, rhinorrea, a common cold) and perhaps a non severe viral infection associated rash. The challenge may be identifying children who are at risk of having a bad disease, such as Meningitis. The following illustration reviews the clinical presentation of…

Lower extremity vascular disease:

Peripheral artery disease vs. deep venous thrombosis: PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE (PAD).- Due to arterial stenosis. Associated with heavy and prolonged tobacco use and atherosclerotic disease. Reduce blood flow will cause signs and symptoms such as weak pulses, pallor, cold skin, ulceration and of course lower extremity pain that increases with exertion up to the point…

Thrombotic microangiopathy and hemolytic anemia:

It’s all about damage of endothelium of small vessels (micro-angio-pathy). This will cause red blood cells to “crash into” inflamed walls, break (hemolytic anemia) and trigger clot formation (thrombotic). Anemia will cause hypoxemia and then thrombosis leads to reduced and impaired blood flow, tissue hypoxia, infarction and a suggestive clinical picture: petechiae, purpura, pain, organ…