Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: A & A case reports


We describe a patient who received an unintentionally prolonged epidural infusion of phenylephrine. The patient experienced no major morbidity. However, this case highlights the continuing problem of wrong-route drug administration and the urgent need to adopt route-specific connections.

Concepts: Patient, Illness, Epidural, Miracles, Infusion pump, Epidural space


Seizure-like behavior is an uncommon yet worrisome phenomenon during anesthesia with propofol. The current case report describes a 23-year-old man admitted for elective surgery who experienced several seizure-like episodes after induction with propofol and during a desflurane-based general anesthetic that were so severe it was not possible to complete the procedure. A second surgery was rescheduled 2 days later with simultaneous scalp electroencephalographic (EEG) recording and general anesthesia with propofol and fentanyl. During the second operation, he again experienced numerous episodes of generalized shaking movements. Simultaneous intraoperative EEG recording showed a background of diffuse beta and alpha frequencies interspersed with periods of pseudoperiodic delta activity; electrographic seizures were not apparent. With this information, muscle relaxants were given and the procedure was performed without difficulty. This is the first report of apparent seizure-like activity during anesthesia with propofol of an otherwise relatively healthy adult, in which concurrent EEG recording demonstrates the nonepileptic nature. The current case demonstrates that, at least in some instances, these concerning movements are not seizure related. Concurrent EEG monitoring may be helpful to evaluate the nature of the episodes in select cases.

Concepts: Surgery, Electroencephalography, Anesthesia, Propofol, Electromyography, Seizure, Delta wave, EEG measures during anesthesia


We report 3 different cases in which ultrasound-guided percutaneous cryoneurolysis was performed to treat acute pain: 1 patient with refractory incisional pain after percutaneous nephrolithotomy; 1 patient with burns to the foot; and 1 patient with pain from iliac crest grafting. Acute pain associated with surgery or injury is a challenge to treat with local anesthetic-based regional anesthesia techniques when the anticipated pain duration exceeds a few days. Cryoneurolysis is an alternative analgesic method that utilizes extremely cold temperatures to reversibly ablate peripheral nerves and is potentially a novel method for acute pain management.

Concepts: Surgery, Temperature, Anesthesia, Opioid, Pain, Suffering, Pain management, Cold


Modern anesthesia workstations display capnography, flow-time, and pressure-time waveforms in real time. We observed that at certain ventilator settings (10 breaths/min) on Dräger workstations, the expiratory phase of the capnograph overlaps both the inspiratory and the expiratory phases of ventilation. This discrepancy disappears at respiratory rates of 16 breaths/min. This synchronous respiratory monitoring display at respiratory rates 16 breaths/min is not physiologically correct, because it implies a synchronization of waveforms that is not actually present. This again becomes asynchronous once the respiratory rate is increased to >18 breaths/min. Such an artifact may not affect the patient’s safety in most cases but may mislead clinicians when synchrony between flow/pressure and capnography is needed for diagnostic purposes. We wish to share this discrepancy with clinicians and notify the manufacturer so that potential solutions may be found.

Concepts: Time, Diagnosis, Respiratory physiology, Rates, Phase, Synchronization, Asynchrony


Sternotomy pain is a common complication after cardiac surgery. We present a 77-year-old patient with severe acute sternal pain after coronary artery bypass graft surgery who was successfully treated with a novel peripheral regional anesthetic technique, the pecto-intercostal fascial block. This interfascial plane block may represent an effective regional anesthetic component of a multimodal analgesic strategy for cardiac surgery patients who suffer from significant pain after a median sternotomy and are typically anticoagulated.

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Medical terms, Heart, Sternum, Artery, Coronary circulation, Coronary artery bypass surgery, Median sternotomy


A 2-year-old child presented with an airplane game piece from the board game Monopoly lodged in her esophagus. The airplane’s wings, engines, and winglets acted like fish hooks that entered the esophageal mucosa easily but were difficult to extract. Chest radiographs were used to estimate the airplane wingspan dimensions, and a Foley catheter was used to dilate the esophagus to allow foreign body extraction via rigid esophagoscopy with optical forceps. Deliberate deep placement of the endotracheal tube facilitated surgical manipulation. This case report highlights the importance of teamwork, communication, and the involvement of multiple disciplines, each with their unique experience and expertise, to formulate a plan of action for patients during unique surgical emergencies.

Concepts: Catheter, Catheters, Monopoly, Foley catheter, Urinary catheterization, Chess, Game, Board game


Plagiarism by residency applicants in their personal statements, as well as sites that sell personal statements, have been described, and led in 2011 to advice to avoid plagiarism and the caution that plagiarism detection software was available. We screened personal statements of 467 anesthesiology residency applicants from 2013-2014 using Viper Plagiarism Scanner software, and studied them for plagiarism. After quotes and commonly used phrases were removed, 82 statements contained unoriginal content of 8 or more consecutive words. After the study, 13.6% of personal statements from non-United States medical school graduates, and 4.0% from United States medical school graduates, contained plagiarized material, a significant difference. Plagiarized content ranged up to 58%. Plagiarism continues to occur in anesthesiology residency personal statements, with a higher incidence among graduates of non-United States medical schools.

Concepts: Physician, High school, Medical school, Plagiarism, Plagiarism detection


Central pain syndromes affect several million people worldwide. A 52-year-old woman had central pain manifest as burning pain from her left foot to the knee for 12 years after treatment for a medullary cavernoma diagnosed after a right-sided brainstem bleeding episode. All this time, her baseline pain was 5-6/10 with spikes to 9-10/10 during activity. She underwent 10 daily Scrambler (Calmare) Therapy treatments (GEOMC, Inc, Seoul, Korea) with reduction in her pain from 9-10/10 to 0-0.5/10, then 5 more sessions a month later. Her baseline pain stayed at 2/10 at 140 days with spikes only to 5/10, and no additional medications. Scrambler (Calmare) Therapy deserves further study in central pain.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical terms, Myofascial pain syndrome, Medulla oblongata, 10th Marine Regiment


We present the perioperative details of a 2-year-old child scheduled for cleft palate repair. Low pulse oximetry readings after induction of anesthesia and before surgery led to the diagnosis of HbMIwate, a rare congenital methemoglobinemia due to mutation in the α-globin gene. We explored the utility of noninvasive cooximetry to monitor methemoglobin and oxygenation during anesthesia and found that noninvasive cooximetry is not useful to monitor oxygenation or to detect the percentage of methemoglobin arising from congenital variants like HbMIwate.

Concepts: Medical terms, Surgery, Anesthesia, Medical tests, Cleft lip and palate, Pulse oximetry, Pulse oximeter, Methemoglobin


A 62-year-old male patient suddenly developed severe dyspnea due to bilateral vocal cord paralysis (VCP) 4 days after an abdominal surgery. Emergent tracheostomy effectively improved the patient’s respiratory status. The present case report emphasizes that bilateral VCP could occur even several days after an abdominal surgery in patients with multiple risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, an older age, male sex, and an upper abdominal surgery. Even if the patient does not present with hoarseness, bilateral VCP should not be ruled out, because a slight phonetic change can be the only symptom of early-stage bilateral VCP.

Concepts: Male, Myocardial infarction, Patient, Diabetes mellitus, Stroke, Human voice, Larynx, Vocal folds