recent articles


EM@3AM: Polycythemia

A 63-year-old male without any past medical history presents to the emergency department with several weeks of headaches, some blurry vision while walking at a quick pace, and shortness of breath. His last checkup with his primary doctor was about 3 years ago and everything was ‘normal’. He takes no medications, has no allergies, and has no previous surgeries. He admits to being a long-term smoker, about a half a pack a day for 20 years. Examination in the ED is normal. Basic lab work is drawn which reveals a hematocrit of 63%, elevated RBC mass, and thrombocytosis to 550K/ml. On further evaluation as an inpatient, it was found the patient had a low erythropoietin level. What is the diagnosis? 


EM@3AM: Pancytopenia

A 36-year-old male with a history of HIV presents to the ED complaining of dyspnea on exertion and fatigue. He is not compliant with his anti-retroviral medications. His conjunctivae are pale. There is a painful ulcer to the distal aspect of the tongue and scattered petechiae on his legs. Laboratory evaluation reveals WBC 2,000/microL, Hgb 8.5 g/dL, and platelets 90,000/microL. What do the exam and lab findings suggest?