Episode 63 – Pediatric DKA

Pediatric DKA was identified as one of key diagnoses that we need to get better at managing in a massive national needs assessment conducted by the fine folks at TREKK – Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids – one of EM Cases’ partners who’s mission is to improve the care of children in non-pediatric emergency departments across the country. You might be wondering - why was DKA singled out in this needs assessment? It turns out that kids who present to the ED in DKA without a known history of diabetes, can sometimes be tricky to diagnose, as they often present with vague symptoms. When a child does have a known history of diabetes, and the diagnosis of DKA is obvious, the challenge turns to managing severe, life-threatening DKA, so that we avoid the many potential complications of the DKA itself as well as the complications of treatment - cerebral edema being the big bad one. The approach to these patients has evolved over the years, even since I started practicing, from bolusing insulin and super aggressive fluid resuscitation to more gentle fluid management and delayed insulin drips, as examples. There are subtleties and controversies in the management of DKA when it comes to fluid management, correcting serum potassium and acidosis, preventing cerebral edema, as well as airway management for the really sick kids. In this episode we‘ll be asking our guest pediatric emergency medicine experts Dr. Sarah Reid, who you may remember from her powerhouse performance on our recent episodes on pediatric fever and sepsis, and Dr. Sarah Curtis, not only a pediatric emergency physician, but a prominent pediatric emergency researcher in Canada, about the key historical and examination pearls to help pick up this sometimes elusive diagnosis, what the value of serum ketones are in the diagnosis of DKA, how to assess the severity of DKA to guide management, how to avoid the dreaded cerebral edema that all too often complicates DKA, how to best adjust fluids and insulin during treatment, which kids can go home, which kids can go to the floor and which kids need to be transferred to a Pediatric ICU.

Episode 50 Recognition and Management of Pediatric Sepsis and Septic Shock

Kids aren't little adults. Pediatric sepsis and septic shock usually presents as 'cold shock' where as adult septic shock usually presents as 'warm shock', for example. In this episode, a continuation of our discussion on Fever from with Ottawa PEM experts, Sarah Reid and Gina Neto, we discuss the pearls and pitfalls in the recognition and management of pediatric sepsis and septic shock. We review the subtle clinical findings that will help you pick up septic shock before it's too late as well as key maneuvers and algorithms to stabilize these patients. We cover tips for using IO in children, induction agents of choice, timing of intubation, ionotropes of choice, the indications for steroids in septic shock, and much more.....

Episode 48 – Pediatric Fever Without A Source

Have you ever seen a child in your emergency department with a fever - he asks sarcastically? At the ginormous community hospital where I work, we see about 25,000 kids each year in our ED and about half of them present with fever. Yes, there still exists fever phobia in our society, which brings hoards of worried parents into the ED with their febrile kids. For most of these kids it's relatively straight forward: Most kids with fever have clinical evidence of an identifiable source of infection – a viral respiratory infection, acute otitis media, gastro, or a viral exanthem. However, about 20% have Fever Without a Source despite your thorough history and physical exam. A small but significant number of this 20% without an identifiable source of fever will have an occult bacterial infection - UTI, bacteremia, pneumonia, or even the dreaded early bacterial meningitis. These are all defined as Serious Bacterial Infections (SBI), with occult UTI being the most common SBI especially in children under the age of 2 years. In the old days we used to do a full septic work-up including LP for all infants under the age of 3 months, but thankfully, times have changed in the post-Hib and pneumoccocal vaccine age, and we aren’t quite so aggressive any more with our work-ups. Nonetheless, it's still controversial as to which kids need a full septic workup, which kids need a partial septic workup, which kids need just a urine dip and which kids need little except to reassure the parents. In this episode, with the help of Dr. Sarah Reid and Dr. Gina Neto from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, we will elucidate how to deal with fever phobia, when a rectal temp is necessary, how to pick out the kids with fever that we need to worry about, how to work up kids with fever depending on their age, risk factors and clinical picture, who needs a urinalysis, who needs a CXR, who needs blood cultures and who needs an LP, and much more....

Best Case Ever 27: Pediatric Shock

Ottawa this year, I had the pleasure of discussing pediatric shock and sepsis with Dr. Sarah Reid, a good medical school friend of mine from the Gretzky Year ('99) graduating class. I knew back then that she was heading for PEM educator stardom. Lo and behold, she is the now the director of CME at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and a national PEM speaker extraordinaire. After recording an eye-opening session on Pediatric Fever Without a Source and Pediatric Sepsis, she told me the story of her Best Case Ever where the initial presumptive diagnosis was sepsis. Maximize your learning and submit your questions on 'Pediatric Fever Without a Source' on the Next Time on EM Cases page.

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