Emergency Medicine Patient Presentation: How to Organize a Good Presentation

by Julianna Jung, MD, FACEP

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    00:01 So let's start off with a case study.

    00:03 So we’ve got a 56-year-old woman with lung cancer.

    00:06 And she shows up in the Emergency Department.

    00:08 She’s got dyspnea and pleuritic chest pain.

    00:12 You look at her vital signs and you discover that she's tachycardic, she’s tachypnic, and hypoxic.

    00:18 How do you wanna organize the case presentation for this lady? So in the history of present illness, you wanna add those details that narrow the differential diagnosis.

    00:29 So you wanna talk about whether she has fever.

    00:32 Whether she’s got sputum production because those things are gonna make you think about an infectious cause.

    00:37 You wanna talk about maybe whether she's got hemoptysis coz that might make you think about pulmonary embolism.

    00:42 You certainly wanna mention if there's been any kind of chest trauma because that's gonna take the differential in a whole different direction.

    00:49 So you wanna get those important details in there so that the listener can understand what possible diagnoses they should be thinking about as you continue to speak.

    01:00 For your past medical history, you wanna only include those relevant items.

    01:04 So if she's had a PE before, that's clearly an important piece of information because you're gonna be thinking about the possibility of her having another PE.

    01:13 If she's got underlying cardiac disease or underlying pulmonary disease, those again are important pieces of information coz you're gonna be thinking about relapsing disease processes that might present with exacerbations.

    01:25 On your Physical Exam, you definitely need to mention those vital signs.

    01:29 Vital signs are vital, and they should always be the first line in your Physical Exam.

    01:33 But you're gonna also talk about your cardiac exam, your lung exam, probably your extremities if you're concerned about the possibility of PE.

    01:41 Clinical data.

    01:43 Hopefully, this patient got an EKG on arrival to the department so you wanna describe the findings.

    01:49 If it shows any evidence of ischemia, if it shows any evidence of right heart strain.

    01:53 These would be important pieces of information to describe in your presentation.

    01:57 Does she already have a chest x-ray? Does she have any labs? Again, that might help the listener either expand or narrow that differential diagnosis.

    02:06 And lastly, what's your assessment and plan? So you wanna bring together that summary statement.

    02:11 So I've got a 58-year-old woman.

    02:14 She’s got a history of lung cancer.

    02:15 She's coming in with dyspnea and pleuritic chest pain.

    02:19 She's tachycardic, tachypnic, hypoxic.

    02:22 She's febrile with increase sputum production.

    02:25 I'm concerned about the possibility of pneumonia.

    02:28 However, she could also have a PE or a cardiac syndrome.

    02:34 So I would like to do the following tests.

    02:37 I would like to perform the following treatments.

    02:40 I wanna get a CAT scan of the chest.

    02:42 I wanna give her analgesia for her pain.

    02:45 I'm anticipating that she’ll need to be admitted.

    02:47 You wanna talk about where you think care is gonna go from this point moving forward.

    02:53 How do you decide what's relevant and what isn’t? Like I said, it’s kind of nuanced and it’s really done on a case by case basis.

    03:00 So the relevance of information is gonna vary in different clinical contexts.

    03:05 So let's look at a couple of examples.

    03:07 Here, we’ve got a patient with hypertension, a history of coronary artery disease and a coronary stent, chronic atrial fibrillation, gouty arthritis, and a total knee replacement.

    03:18 So this is a guy who's got a lot of prior history, right? He's on lisinopril for blood pressure, allopurinol for his gout, and warfarin for his atrial fibrillation.

    03:28 He's got an aspirin allergy, he's a smoker.

    03:31 He doesn’t drink but he does use injection heroin.

    03:34 So what pieces of that big complex history are gonna be relevant? That’s gonna depend on what the gentleman comes in with.

    03:43 So if he comes in with chest pain, clearly, his coronary history is gonna be a critical part to mention, but you're gonna also mention that he's got a history of hypertension coz that increases his risk of having future coronary events.

    03:55 You're gonna wanna mention his atrial fibrillation as well because that's a cardiac disease that can present with chest pain.

    04:01 You're gonna wanna mention his warfarin use because if he is on the anticoagulation and it's adequate, that might theoretically reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism.

    04:12 You're gonna wanna mention the aspirin allergy because aspirin is always gonna be part of the treatment of patients with suspected coronary syndromes but not in this particular case.

    04:22 And again, his smoking history increases your risk of coronary syndromes, pneumothoraces, etc.

    04:29 So those are the pieces of information that you're gonna talk about when the gentleman comes in with chest pain.

    04:34 However, you take the same exact patient and now bring him in with knee pain, and suddenly his gout becomes a lot more important.

    04:42 His prior knee replacement becomes a lot more important.

    04:45 His history repeats itself and we wanna know if he's had prior joint pathology that's gonna help us think about the differential for his current joint pathology.

    04:54 His warfarin is still important, not because of anything related to a fib or pulmonary emboli, but because it might increase his risk of hemarthrosis, especially if he was super therapeutic.

    05:06 His allergy history is much less important now, although it might still be a little bit of an issue depending on how you wanna treat his symptoms.

    05:14 And his injection drug use which wasn't terribly important for his chest pain is now really important when you think about his knee pain because he's at risk of septic arthritis, because of his needle use and you wanna include that, because it's a major risk factor for a limb threatening disease process that's gonna be in your differential of consequence for this patient.

    05:35 So that’s a little bit of an illustration of how in different clinical context, you might call out different pieces of information about the same patient just based on what they're there with today.

    05:47 So when you're trying to give a great presentation, one, you wanna focus to the matter at hand.

    05:53 Find out why are you here today, right now, and get information about that chief complaint.

    05:59 You want a logical, linear illness narrative.

    06:03 It should read almost like a short story.

    06:05 You should understand the beginning, the middle and the end.

    06:08 You wanna make sure that you include only relevant information about your patient.

    06:12 You wanna always address your differential of consequence so any disease process that might threaten life or limb, you wanna make sure that you address that first and you wanna always offer a plan including tests, treatments and disposition.

    06:26 Even if you're wrong, it's okay .

    06:28 You just wanna start thinking about, hey, when it’s my job to actually take care of this patient in real life, what would I do about it? Coz that’s how you learn to make clinical decisions.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Emergency Medicine Patient Presentation: How to Organize a Good Presentation by Julianna Jung, MD, FACEP is from the course Emergency Medicine: General Topics.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. History of arthritis
    2. Presence of fever
    3. Low pulse oximeter readings
    4. Initial interpretation of pulmonary congestion in the chest radiograph
    5. Presence of hemoptysis
    1. Allergy to aspirin
    2. Non-alcoholic beverage drinker
    3. Past medical history of constipation
    4. Family history of migraines
    5. Daily intake of vitamins
    1. Including all the medical history of the patient
    2. Focusing on the current chief complaint
    3. Obtaining a logical and linear illness narrative
    4. Addressing life/limb threats first
    5. Offering a plan which includes tests, treatments, and disposition

    Author of lecture Emergency Medicine Patient Presentation: How to Organize a Good Presentation

     Julianna Jung, MD, FACEP

    Julianna Jung, MD, FACEP

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    ER patients priorities
    By DR SUDHAKAR B. on 15. December 2021 for Emergency Medicine Patient Presentation: How to Organize a Good Presentation

    I would recommend all the ER medical trainees and medicos to join the course

    Simple lecture
    By Sha Ron u. on 19. August 2020 for Emergency Medicine Patient Presentation: How to Organize a Good Presentation

    Fantastic use of case examples. Clear and concise. Thanks Professor!

    Great lecture.
    By DR GULAM M. on 21. November 2017 for Emergency Medicine Patient Presentation: How to Organize a Good Presentation

    Well organised and simplified as to ED setting. would appreciate if more images of actual ED settings.