Category Archives: Infectious Diseases

Moffet’s Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 5e (2017)

I write with reverence about what I believe to be one of the best medical books of all time: Moffet’s Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 5e (2017). The main problem with tackling infectious diseases from a diagnostic standpoint is that ID can be hard to classify clinically. The traditional approach is, basically, to ask the question Does the patient have an infection and,… Read More »

How to Protect Yourself in the Event of an Ebola Outbreak

Here is a leading expert’s advice on how to protect yourself in the event of an Ebola outbreak: Do not travel to endemic areas. Avoid crowds: To the extent possible, stay at home. Do not go to cinemas or shows. Do not attend community meetings. Avoid healthcare facilities: emergencies excepted, avoid all hospitals, medical clinics, and doctors offices. Avoid medical… Read More »

Meningitis: How to Answer “Best Next Step” Questions

If, on a  standardized test, you are asked what’s the “best next step” in the management of a patient with suspected meningitis, prioritize thusly: Droplet precautions if Neisseria meningitidis is suspected (this comes first for public health reasons) Administer acyclovir if HSV meningitis is suspected (there’s no reason to delay this) Draw blood cultures (because antibiotics will “spoil”… Read More »

Hand Infections You Don’t Want to Miss

Here are some questions that you should ask (or at least think about!) when evaluating patients with hand infections to help make sure that you don’t miss anything big. Other than this pain, redness, swelling here (etc.), did you hurt your hand in any way? This is perhaps better than asking “Did you punch anyone?” or “Did you… Read More »

Mnemonic for Side Effects of Antimycobacterial Agents

Here is a mnemonic that will help you remember the side effects of  antimycobacterial agents: Rifampin cause Red discoloration of urine and tears, which can lead to patient anxiety and ruined contact lenses. Patients should be counseled about this ahead of time and should be advised not to wear contact lenses while being treated with this medication. Ethambutol… Read More »

Book Review: Antibiotic Basics for Clinicians, 2e

I believe that it is not possible to practice general medicine intelligently without knowing the contents of this book very well. This is the only monograph about antibiotics that I know of which focuses heavily, and sometimes exclusively, on the why of antibiotic selection. And when it comes to antibiotic selection, you need to know why you are doing what you… Read More »

Book Review: 2013 EMRA Antibiotic Guide by Brian J. Levine MD

My overall favorable impression of the 2013 EMRA Antibiotic Guide is similar to that of the 2011 edition, about which I wrote: For almost any infectious disease, the text advises you about which antibiotic to use, along with the appropriate dose, route, frequency and duration. In addition, the text provides you with various alternatives and contingency antibiotic choices for special… Read More »