In this episode on Pulmonary Embolsim we have the triumphant return of Dr. Anil Chopra, the Head of the Divisions of Emergency Medicine at University of Toronto, and Dr. John Foote the CCFP(EM) residency program director at the University of Toronto. We kick it off with Dr. Foote's approach to undifferentiated dyspnea and explanation of Medically Unexplained Dyspea ('MUD') and go on to discuss how best to develop a clinical pre-test probability for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism using risk factors, the value of the PERC rule, Well's criteria and how clinical gestalt plays into pre-test probability. Dr. Chopra tells about the appropriate use of D-dimer to improve our diagnostic accuracy without leading to over-investigation and unwarranted anticoagulation. We then discuss the value of V/Q scan in the workup of PE, and the pitfalls of CT angiography. A discussion of anticoagulation choices follows and the controversies around thrombolysis for submassive PE are reviewed.
The whole playing field changes with pregnant patients in the emergency department. When you're faced with one of the Medical and Surgical Emergencies in Pregnancy that we'll cover in this episode, there are added challenges and considerations. Dr. Shirley Lee and Dr. Dominick Shelton discuss a challenging case of a pregnant patient presenting to the emergency department with shortness of breath and chest pain. They review those diagnoses that the pregnant patient is at risk for and discuss the challenges of lab test interpretation and imaging algorithms in the pregnant patient. Next, they walk us through the management of cardiac arrest in the pregnant patient. In another case of a pregnant patient who presents with abdominal pain and fever, they discuss strategies to minimize delays in diagnosis to prevent serious morbidity and mortality. The pros and cons of abdominal ultrasound, CT and MRI are reviewed as well as the management of appendicitis, pyelonephritis and septic abortion in pregnant patients.