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Hemopericardium and Cardiac Tamponade After Blunt Thoracic Trauma: A Case Series and the Essential Role of Cardiac Ultrasound

Offenbacher, Joseph; Liu, Rachel; Venitelli, Zeah; Martin, Dylan; Fogel, Kobi; Nguyen, Vincent; Kim, Peter Kyunghwan
BACKGROUND:Severe cardiac injury caused by penetrating rib or sternal fractures after blunt chest trauma is a rare clinical entity that has been described in only a few case reports over the last half-century. As a result, questions have arisen about the utility of the cardiac component in the Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (cFAST) examination in evaluating blunt trauma patients. CASE REPORT/METHODS:We present a series of 3 patients who sustained blunt trauma and were discovered on cFAST examination to have developed pericardial tamponade from overlying rib or sternal fractures in the emergency departments of two academic level I trauma hospitals in the United States. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This? These cases highlight the need for emergency and trauma physicians to be aware of blunt-induced, penetrating trauma to the heart and mediastinum, and for future trauma care guidelines to consider the importance of the cFAST examination.
PMID: 34215473
ISSN: 0736-4679
CID: 4932672

The Role of Emergency Medical Services in Earthquake Response: Integrating the ABC Approach of Israel's Magen David Adom

Jaffe, Eli; Skornik, Yehuda; Offenbacher, Joseph; Alpert, Evan Avraham
Throughout history, earthquakes have caused devastation and loss of life. Emergency medical services (EMS) plays a vital role in the response to any mass-casualty incident or disaster. Magen David Adom, Israel's premier EMS organization, has a unique strategy known as the ABC approach to earthquake response. It involves thousands of salaried workers and trained volunteers who are prepared to respond to an earthquake based on the extent of the disaster. Depending on the amount of destruction, they will be working locally or available to help in other areas. A Level A earthquake causes local destruction and minimal casualties. Any EMS responders in that area as well as in surrounding areas will be available to help. Furthermore, all responders will need to work automatically and autonomously. A Level B earthquake causes extensive destruction, and all responders in the region will be busy caring for the victims. Anyone available outside of the region will come and help. A Level C earthquake is completely devastating, and all workers nationwide will be involved in responding to the catastrophe. The role of EMS responders using the ABC approach to earthquake response, as described here, may be integrated in part or whole in other EMS systems.
PMID: 32624082
ISSN: 1938-744x
CID: 4844642

Altered Mental Status as the Primary Presentation of Intussusception in a 3-Month-Old Child Diagnosed by Point-Of-Care Ultrasonography [Case Report]

Offenbacher, Joseph; Menko, Julien; Lukovic, Sanida; Tarr, Michael; Roberts, Suzanne
BACKGROUND:Intussusception can lead to significant morbidity in affected children secondary to tissue ischemia and necrosis. When a child outside of the classic age range presents with symptoms other than intermittent abdominal pain, the diagnosis of intussusception can be difficult and is often delayed. CASE REPORT/METHODS:We present the case of a three-month-old boy who presented to the emergency department with waxing and waning mental status and seizure-like activity who was ultimately diagnosed with intussusception. The effective use of bedside ultrasonography, by the attending pediatric radiologist, enabled an interdisciplinary team to explore abdominal etiologies in parallel with testing for more commonly seen causes of altered mental status. This led to an expedited diagnosis and successful definitive management. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: Intussusception is a common pediatric emergency encountered by emergency physicians where a timely diagnosis can have a profound impact on patient outcomes. Previous case reports highlight how easily intussusception can be overlooked with this atypical neurologic presentation. Furthermore, because patients with profound altered mental status are often too ill to leave the emergency department for diagnostic testing, bedside abdominal ultrasonography may be helpful in these patients.
PMID: 31973956
ISSN: 0736-4679
CID: 4844632

Correction to: Atypical presentation of hemorrhagic shock in pregnancy: a case highlighting the developing field of emergency medicine in Israel

Berzon, Baruch; Gleenberg, Michael; Offenbacher, Joseph; West, Debra
The original article [1] contained a misspelling in first author, Baruch Berzon's name which has since been corrected.
PMID: 31937241
ISSN: 1471-227x
CID: 4844622

Atypical presentation of hemorrhagic shock in pregnancy: a case highlighting the developing field of emergency medicine in Israel [Case Report]

Berzon, Baruch; Gleenberg, Michael; Offenbacher, Joseph; West, Debra
BACKGROUND:Occult hemorrhagic shock secondary to uterine rupture represents a true obstetric emergency and can result in significant morbidity and mortality for both the patient and the fetus. Multiparity and prior cesarean sections are known risk factors. Typically, these patients present late in gestation, often secondary to the physiologic stresses on the uterus related to contractions. This pathology is less common earlier in pregnancy and can often be overlooked in the acute setting. CASE PRESENTATION:We present the case of a 31-year-old female with three prior gestations, two parities and two prior cesarean sections, resulting in three live births, who presented to the Emergency Department (ED) 22-weeks pregnant with acute onset dyspnea and an episode of syncope. Due to her altered mental status there was concern for occult shock, despite normal vital signs. Large amounts of free fluid in the abdomen were noted on bedside ultrasonography with a high suspicion for uterine pathology. She was resuscitated with blood and taken immediately to the operating room for surgical management where she was found to have had a uterine rupture. CONCLUSION:This case highlights a rare presentation of a well-known obstetric emergency, due to the patient's development of uterine rupture early in gestation. Consequently, emergency physicians should consider atraumatic hypovolemic shock, secondary to this obstetric catastrophe, even at a stage that far precedes its expected presentation. In addition, we make note of how this case validated our department's integrated emergency medicine model, the first in the State of Israel.
PMID: 31752688
ISSN: 1471-227x
CID: 4844612

Penile Emergencies

Offenbacher, Joseph; Barbera, Andrew
The penis is an organ of enormous importance and is vital for both excretory and reproductive function. The anatomy of the penis itself can lead to many of its emergent conditions and a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology is central to recognition of these conditions. Physicians should have a high clinical suspicion for penile emergencies and perform a thorough physical examination to make a proper diagnosis. Prompt diagnosis and proper management are essential for minimizing dysfunction of this vital organ.
PMID: 31563196
ISSN: 1558-0539
CID: 4844602

An Emergency Department Presentation of Severe Colitis After a Home Hydrogen Peroxide Enema [Case Report]

Offenbacher, Joseph; Kristol, Delia; Cain, Darnell; Kim, Peter; Nguyen, Vincent
BACKGROUND:) enemas are readily available. CASE REPORT/METHODS:is well described in the literature, there are few reports of the sequelae related to rectal administration. Due to its significant morbidity and the public health concerns related to this mechanism of toxicity, emergency physicians are at the frontlines for diagnosing and properly managing these patients. This case report reviews the patient's presentation, findings, and management.
PMID: 31104768
ISSN: 0736-4679
CID: 4844592