Category Archives: Cardiology

How to Remember the Causes of Arrhythmias (the H’s and T’s)

Causes of arrhythmias, including asystole, include: H‘s: think about what blood does: Volume (hypovolemia) Oxygen (hypoxemia) Glucose (hypoglycemia) Potassium (hypo- or hyperkalemia) Acid-base balance (H+ or acidosis) Temperature regulation (hypothermia) T‘s : imagine a (toxic) lead bullet piercing a chest. What can it cause? Trauma Toxins Tamponade Tension pneumothorax Thrombosis (PE or MI) Reference Dr. Christopher Gallagher’s YouTube video

Book Review: Rapid Interpretation of ECGs in Emergency Medicine

I don’t have any electrocardiography books on my list of best medical books of all time. There are a few contenders for that spot.  One of them is Rapid Interpretation of ECGs in Emergency Medicine: A Visual Guide (2012) by Drs. Jennifer Martindale and David Brown. The book is basically a marked-up atlas of important, must-be-able-to-interpret-correctly electrocardiograms. Almost… Read More »

Aortic Dissection: When to Suspect it

Suspect an aortic dissection in patients with chest pain plus any of the following: New neurological problems Anterior spinal artery infarction with loss of motor function and loss of sensation (with preserved position and vibratory senses) Oculosympathetic paresis, or Horner syndrome, with miosis, ptosis, and anhidrosis A painful Horner’s is a dissection until proven otherwise Acute renal infarction (flank… Read More »

Book Review: Pocket Guide for Huszar’s Basic Dysrhythmias and Acute Coronary Syndromes: Interpretation and Management (2011)

Pocket Guide for Huszar’s Basic Dysrhythmias and Acute Coronary Syndromes: Interpretation and Management (2011) by Keith Wesley MD is a very good entry level electrocardiography book for medical students. (I previously recommended this book in Step 3 of Electrocardiography: A Curriculum for Self-Guided Learners.) The 200-page handbook contains good examples of most of the important EKG rhythms and… Read More »

Shock and Hypotension: An Expanded Differential Diagnosis

The following is an expanded differential diagnosis of shock. Please let me know if you’d consider adding anything to the list! Cardiogenic Arrhythmias Impaired contractility (volume overload, ischemia, drugs, toxins, electrolyte disorders) Structural problems (valvular abnormalities, etc.) Obstructive Endovascular: pulmonary embolus, atrial myxoma or thrombus Exo-vascular: cardiac tamponade, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, tension pneumothorax, tension mediastinum, breath stacking/auto PEEP, inferior vena… Read More »

Electrocardiography: A Curriculum for Self-Guided Learners

“If you think there’s another specialist who has all the answers, someone else who’s going to bail you out of trouble every time you have a question about ECGs, you are mistaken. That person may just as likely be wrong, so YOU must strive to become THE expert.” Amal Mattu MD, ECG Interpretation of STEMI: Who’s the Expert?,… Read More »