recent articles

PEM Playbook

PEM Playbook – Big Labs, Little People: Troponin, BNP, D-Dimer, and Lactate

It’s a busy shift. Today no one seems to have a chief complaint. Someone sends a troponin on a child. Good, bad, or ugly, how are you going to interpret the result? And while we’re at it – what labs do I need to be careful with in children – sometimes the normal ranges of common labs can have our heads spinning! Read on for bread-and-butter pediatric blood work and further, to answer the question – what’s up with troponin, lactate, d-dimer, and BNP in kids?

practice updates

D-Dimer in Aortic Dissection Workup

"Higher d-dimer levels correlate with more segments of the aorta involved, with false lumen type dissections, and with higher mortality rates"

D-dimer has great sensitivity for aortic dissection, but its true clinical utility in the workup of this high-risk diagnosis remains undefined. Tim Schaefer, MD reviews diagnosis and management, as well as the recent literature on the role of the d-dimer.

practice updates

PERC Rule: Application and Limitations

"Pleuritic chest pain [...] is not in a validated clinical decision rule despite having a higher OR for PE than hemoptysis and recent immobilization"
The PERC rule can be a wonderful thing, but requires judicious use. Jason West, MD reviews the literature, discussing applicability and limitations of the PERC rule, so you'll know when to feel confident foregoing the D-dimer and when to be more cautious.