Source: Madeline Lassche, MSNEd, RN and Katie Baraki, MSN, RN, College of Nursing, University of Utah, UT
Intramuscular (IM) injections deposit medications deep into the muscle tissue. Since muscle fibers are well perfused, this route of administration provides quick uptake of the medication and allows for the administration of relatively large volumes. Skeletal muscles have fewer pain-sensing nerves than subcutaneous tissue, which allows for the less painful administration of irritating drugs (e.g., chlorpromazine, an anti-psychotic). IM injections are recommended for patients unable to take oral medications and for uncooperative patients. Some examples of medications that are commonly delivered by IM injections include antibiotics, hormones, and vaccinations.
As in any other route of administration, the nurse must consider if the medication is appropriate, given the patient's medical conditions, allergies, and current clinical status. In addition, specifically for IM injections, it is important to assess the patient's muscle mass to determine the appropriate needle size. Also, if the patient has already received this injection, it is necessary to verify the injection site that was previously used and to ensure that the previous dose did not result in any adverse…
Source: Robert E. Sallis, MD. Kaiser Permanente, Fontana, California, USA
Examination of the neck can be a challenge because of the many bones, joints, and ligaments that make up the underlying cervical spine. The cervical spine is composed of seven vertebrae stacked in gentle C-shaped curve. The anterior part of each vertebra is made up of the thick bony body, which is linked to the body above and below by intervertebral discs. These discs help provide stability and shock absorption to the cervical spine. The posterior elements of the vertebra, which include the laminae, transverse, and spinous processes and the facet joints, form a protective canal for the cervical spinal cord and its nerve roots.
The cervical spine supports the head and protects the neural elements as they come from the brain and from the spinal cord. Therefore, injuries or disorders affecting the neck can also affect the underlying spinal cord and have potentially catastrophic consequences. The significant motion that occurs in the neck places the cervical spine at increased risk for injury and degenerative changes. The cervical spine is also a common source of radicular pain in the shoulder. For this reason, the neck should be evaluated as a routine part of every shoulder exam. …
Physical Examinations III
Source:Tracey A. Milligan, MD; Tamara B. Kaplan, MD; Neurology, Brigham and Women's/Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Abnormalities in the motor function are associated with a wide range of diseases, from movement disorders and myopathies to strokes. The motor assessment starts with observation of the patient. When the patient enters the examination area, the clinician observes the patient's ability to walk unassisted and the speed and coordination while moving. Taking the patient's history provides an additional opportunity to observe for evidence of tremors or other abnormal movements, such as chorea or tardive dyskinesia. Such simple but important observations can yield valuable clues to the diagnosis and help to focus the rest of the examination. The motor assessment continues in a systematic fashion, including inspection for muscle atrophy and abnormal movements, assessment of muscle tone, muscle strength testing, and finally the examination of the muscle reflexes and coordination. The careful systematic testing of the motor system and the integration of all the findings provide insight to the level at which the motor pathway is affected, and also help the clinician to formulate the differential diagnosis and determine the course of the subsequent evaluation and treatment.…
Physical Examinations III
Source: Rachel Liu, BAO, MBBCh, Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
The anterior shoulder dislocation is one of the most common joint dislocations seen in emergency settings. In anterior shoulder dislocation, the humeral head is displaced out of the glenohumeral joint in front of the scapular glenoid, resulting in a loss of the articulation between the arm and the rest of the shoulder. This can be caused by a fall onto an abducted, extended, and externally rotated arm, such as in a bicycle or running accident. Sometimes anterior shoulder dislocation can be due to a minor trauma or even result from rolling over in bed with an externally rotated and stretched overhead arm.
Anterior shoulder dislocation is a painful injury. Patients cannot actively abduct, adduct or internally rotate the shoulder. Reduction of the shoulder is the best form of analgesia and, of course, is necessary to restore arm function. While it is current practice for patients to undergo procedural sedation during the shoulder reduction procedure, the sedatives have serious side effects (cardiac and respiratory depression), and require long stays in the emergency department (ED), dedicated nursing staff, multiple radiographs, and consulting services.
Emergency Medicine and Critical Care
1School of Psychology, University of Birmingham