Clinical Case 118: Thinking outside the box

OK team – a Paeds case for you today.  It’s one where I am going to give you just a few clues and you have to think up the diagnosis.

Here we go…..

Jemimanisha is an 8  yo. girl who lives in an Aboriginal community about an hour away.

She has been brought to ED by her mother after being up all night complaining of a headache.  She has never had headaches before.  Her Mum is concerned that she ate too much junk food at her friend’s home the night before.

On further questioning – the headache is really quite global – she points at both parietal areas and rubs her head on both sides to show where it hurts.  She has had no recent URTI sxs, no fevers, cough or injury.  She isn’t bothered by lights or the ED noise.  Up until bedtime she was fine.  She woke around 11 PM with the headache &  slept in with her mother after that – her mum says she was restless and crying out all night long [Mum looks tired!].  This morning she vomited after eating toast.  Her belly feels OK and she reports no diarrhoea.


  • Obese with a BMI of 32 [currently seeing dietician]
  • Recurrent ear disease with grommets as a child, multiple presentations with acute OM in last 5 years. None recently.
  • Had a laceration to her ankle last month that required repair under sedation in ED – that went well and she was discharged.  Wound healing OK.

On examination

  • Afebrile, HR 90 SR, well perfused,  SpO2 = 99% RA,  RR = 15/min
  • Neuro exam is NAD – PEARL, no meningism, walking well, coordinated and fundi look ok – no papilloedema.
  • ENT – old scarred TMs bilaterally, no coryza, throat NAD
  • Chest and abdo unremarkable, soft, no signs of lung disease
  • No LN or rash, mucosa looks moist.
  • Leg wound has healed but there is a 3mm dehiscence of the edge of the scar – there is clear, serous fluid oozing out.  It is non-tender, no pus or cellulitis.

OK, that is all I am going to give you at this stage…

Here are the questions:

Q1:  What further information do you want [it is a weekend in Broome – so no labs or X-rays !]

Q2:  What is the diagnosis?

Q3:  What do you need to confirm the diagnosis?

I am sure you super sleuths can work this out!  Who is fastest?


Paramedic Registration


If your unaware, the big day for the Paramedic Registration vote is the 7th of August! Time to start making some noise about what we want as paramedics.

Registration is Important. So get on social media and make some noise the tag is #PararegAus

Its time to stop playing prehospital care state by state an move to a national qualification system!

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Tasty Morsels of EM 054 – Paeds Cardiology: Long QT

As always, this is from the ever expanding google doc on bits and bobs I read and learn from and transfer here for all our learning pleasure.

Today we have some notes from a lecture by a paeds cardiologist at a recent national EM training day.

The first is on long QT

  • the Schwartz score can be useful for diagnosis of long QT syndrome. Now a bit old and superseded by genetics but important to know that it is not all about the QT on the ECG – it’s a syndrome with various factors.
  • T wave alternans is a marker of ventricular instability
  • 3 main provocations of arrhythmia
    • swimming
    • arguing
    • alarm clocks
  • long QT in the first 2 weeks of life will usually be normal
  • like many folk he emphasised the importance of manual measurement of QT
  • beta blockers really good for this disease. Only if you have an event on a beta blocker do you get an ICD implanted
  • there are the Bethseda guidelines on exercise which tend to be very conservative. There are some recent moves to relax this
  • if you find someone with syncope and a long QT then they probably don’t need admitted but this totally depends on the paeds cardiology service you have – they need to have a planned follow up and in my opinion if you’re in a system where you can’t get that then maybe admitting them is the way to go


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