Evidence and Practice
EDs can be challenging environments for people experiencing mental health issues
Healthcare staff have a vital role in the assessment and treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis
Identifying common prescribing errors in one large inner-city ED in South Wales
Two elements are vital to patient safety in emergency care – work culture and staff training
It is important that ENs are aware of the symptoms and management of autonomic dysreflexia
Why you should read this article: • To enhance your knowledge of the signs and symptoms of mallet finger injuries, including common presentations and the mechanism of injury • To understand how to assess a patient with a suspected mallet finger injury, and the options for management • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD), or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers) • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers) Patients commonly present to UK emergency departments with injuries to the tips of their fingers. Mallet finger is one of the most common injuries, resulting from an injury to the extensor tendon over the dorsal surface of the distal phalanges of the hand. Timely recognition, diagnosis and management are required to prevent complications. This article provides an overview of the pathophysiology, signs, symptoms, diagnosis and management of mallet finger injuries.
Sepsis is a medical emergency that should always be considered in acutely unwell patients
This article aims to increase emergency nurses’ knowledge of acute aortic dissection
Childhood asthma is a complex disease which may be resistant to treatment and varies in its clinical presentation. The number of children admitted to emergency departments (EDs) with acute exacerbation of asthma is high and many are managed solely in the department. The correct assessment of the severity of an exacerbation can be achieved through competent history taking, examination and accurate recording of observations. Nurses working in EDs should be able to recognise the clinical signs and symptoms of acute asthma, assess severity and advise on appropriate management. Nurses should have some knowledge of first-line management and how and when to help deliver these therapies. They should also be able to guide patients in discharge and follow-up care, develop a rapport with families and educate them on topics such as trigger avoidance. The assessment and management of these patients as outlined in this article is based on the British Thoracic Society/Scottish Intercollegiate Network guidelines ( BTS/SIGN) (2016) .
Over the past ten years there has been a significant rise in the number of people who present to emergency departments with Lyme disease. Although some patients remain asymptomatic many present with a rash around a previous tick bite and others may present with a range of debilitating symptoms that can be problematic if left untreated. Due to the growing prevalence of Lyme disease in the UK and the US this article gives an overview of the vector-borne condition and provides emergency nurses with information about the pathophysiology, prevention, presenting signs and symptoms and management.
Infrequent presentation of this patient group to emergency departments can cause stress and anxiety to front-line clinicians when they are faced with patients with a traumatic burn injury. Assessment relies on accurate evaluation of burn aetiology, size and depth, and initial management is directly responsible for patients’ outcomes and quality of life. This is the second article in a two-part series that gives an overview of the minimum standard of care in burns first aid, and highlights the likely challenges in assessment of burn depth and size. The aim of the two articles is to enhance emergency clinicians’ knowledge and confidence in burn management, and to build awareness of the life-changing implications of the initial clinical interventions in burn care.
Mistakes made in healthcare settings and the challenges to staff that arise from them can harm service users, consume time and money, and often receive bad publicity. However, by learning from these mistakes and meeting these challenges, practitioners can improve the quality of the care they provide. This article explores what is meant by mistakes and challenges in the context of health care. It suggests that front line managers are best placed to prevent and learn from mistakes, and thereby improve care for patients.