Pre-Op Screen: Upper Extremity Blocks

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Upper extremity nerve blocks involve blocking the brachial plexus at different points – the major blocks are interscalene, supraclavicular, infraclavicular, and axillary. So how do we decide which blocks are appropriate for a given surgery? And what are the pros/cons of certain blocks over others? First of all, let’s start with a diagram of the infamous brachial plexus. More »

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Clinical Students

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Congratulations – you’ve made it to the clinical portion of medical school! Now you’ll work alongside interns, residents, attendings, pharmacists, social workers, and a myriad of other healthcare workers to provide quality care for your patients. As a resident, I’ve seen medical and PA students struggle with feelings of anxiety, incompetence, and disorganization. They are excellent with patients but often ... More »

November – The Month Of Hall Questions

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Of the well-reputed question banks in the world of anesthesia, I purchased Hall’s Anesthesia: A Comprehensive Review on Inkling this afternoon. This eBook consists of both static text (with questions and answers in separate sections) as well as an interactive self-assessment mode with immediate answer feedback and scorecard capabilities. I’m definitely using the latter. More »

“Fall Back” 2014

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Halloween 2014 was another holiday spent working, but it also marked the end of another month of residency. I placed my first peripheral nerve block (infraclavicular block of the brachial plexus) Friday afternoon! This was a great preview of what I’ll be doing for all of November as the junior regional anesthesia resident at the VA Hospital. More »

Succinylcholine – You Gotta Know It

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One of the pharmacologic agents I like to cover in depth with medical students is succinylcholine. It has a unique metabolism. Among anaphylactic reactions, it’s a common culprit. It’s an IV agent associated with malignant hyperthermia. And when you call us for a stat intubation, we’re finding reasons NOT to use it. More »