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Here you will find information regarding rotation schedules, academic resources, wellness and facts about our program and residents. Check out our bios and photos. Please also visit the Emergency Department's official residency website. This site is intended for Mount Sinai EM residency purposes only, and no information on these pages is intended or should be construed as medical advice. Read more.

Influenza is Here…how Do You Test for It?

Your 60 year old patient says he feels horrible. Fever, chills, body aches. His grandson has similar symptoms last week. His exam is significant for fever of 102, P105, 140/76, SpO2 97%,  upper respiratory congestion, with clear lungs, normal heart sounds and benign abdomen.

Your attending is concerned he has the flu, says: “Hey, lets test for it”. Do you know how to make that happen? From a logistic standpoint?

-The test to order is “Influenza DFA”

-You (the MD) needs to collect it. Go to the Peds side utility room and get a “Floq” swab from the counter and some Hank’s media from the refrigerator. It looks like this:


-Then you have to swab the patient’s nose. Have the patient blow their nose first (you don’t want mucus, you want cells). Take the swab out of the container, place it in their nose. Move straight back posteriorly about half way the distance to the ear until you feel hold up. Rotate the swab several times to get a good sample (about 10-15 seconds in the perfect world). The test is only as good as the sample, so stay in there as long as the patient will tolerate it.

Check out this short video for a demonstration:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVJNWefmHjE

-Then break the swab off into the Hank’s media. Give it to the patient’s nurse or label it and send it yourself.

-The test takes about 2 hours to come back -

During the Day -> 95% sensitivity 95% specificity against cultures as gold standard (reported by Mt. Sinai labs, although studies have show more like 70-100% and 80-100% sens/spec respectively for this type of test)

During the Night -> Lab will run a rapid test which supposedly has a sensitivity 92-98% and specificity 100% against cultures as gold standard (reported by Mt. Sinai labs, studies quote more like 65-55% sensitivity and 98% specificity). The lab will confirm in the morning with a official DFA if the rapid was negative.

Then the next question arises, what do I do with the information once it results…but let’s talk about that another day.

Further reading:



Gavin, Patrick J., and Richard B. Thomson Jr. “Review of rapid diagnostic tests for influenza.” Clinical and Applied Immunology Reviews 4.3 (2004): 151-172.


Yet Another Scary Ekg Finding…


As if there weren’t enough morphologies and subtleties in the EKG, here is another ekg finding that you should be aware of…

de Winter T-waves

  • 1-3 mm ST-depression upsloping at the J-point in the mid precordial leads leading to tall symmetric T-waves
  • No large studies on the topic
  • Several small case series show correlation with acute LAD occlusion

Continue reading “Yet Another Scary Ekg Finding…” »

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome


50 yo M hx of NIDDM, recent left shoulder surgery x 4 mo ago for rotator cuff tear, currently presenting with left arm pain from shoulder to hand with swelling and tightness of the left hand and fingers.


Well-appearing male holding his left arm at his side with obvious swelling to the hand with tense skin as appears below.
Hand 1


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Don’t Forget About the Kids….


Quick Case: 17 mo M child presenting with painless bright red rectal bleeding x 1 day. Benign physical exam. Afebrile, with stable vitals and normal labs.

Dx: Meckels Diverticulum
T99 scan for diagnosis (Sensitivity 85-97%, Specificity 97%)
Surgical treatment: Indicated in severe cases, significant blood loss, persistent abdominal pain, refractory to medical treatment. Most common procedure is the trans-umbilical laparoscopic-assisted (TULA) Meckel’s diverticulectomy, which allows the exteriorization of the diverticulum through the navel and the performance of the diverticulectomy outside of the abdomen with its repair in relationship to the enteric defect and morphology
Medical treatment: Indicated in the stable, non-severe cases, supportive care, high dose PPI, IV hydration

Continue reading “Don’t Forget About the Kids….” »

Prisoners Can Refuse Care Too

@JoePinero Prisoners can often cause a lot of ethical dilemma’s when attempting to treat them in the hospital setting. Often times, physicians are reluctant to allow prisoners to sign-out AMA. However, there have been several supreme court cases in the past that have set a solid precedent for allowing this. In brief, here is an interesting, and relatively recent case that might help you the next time a sick prisoner is requesting to sign out AMA.

State vs Reid 2007  ( http://law.ubalt.edu/downloads/law_downloads/Stouffer%20v.%20Reid.pdf )
Reid, sentenced for 40 years, refusing dialysis during his first few years of sentencing with full knowledge that he will not survive without it. The medical doctors went to supreme court in effort to force care and were overruled. Reid was deemed of sound mind and was allowed to forgo dialysis. He would die later that year.

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Carl “Scooter” Mickman