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Emergency Medicine Reports – June 26, 2005

June 26, 2005

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  • Dizziness

    Few chief complaints cause more apprehension and dread for emergency physicians than dizziness. It is a common condition seen in the emergency department, is understood poorly, and has potentially malignant etiologies. Dizziness cannot be measured. It can mean different things to different patients and is often difficult to precisely characterize. Unfortunately, it is the ability to obtain a precise history and perform an exacting examination that allows a diagnosis to be made and appropriate treatment instituted. This article examines some of the different causes of dizziness, how they can be differentiated via history and physical examination, and their appropriate treatments and dispositions.
  • Emergency Medicine Specialty Reports: Informed Consent for Emergency Procedures

    Barriers to the informed consent process may exist among emergency patients, including impaired decisional capacity, impaired cognition, language barriers, illiteracy, insufficient time and communication, and numerous others. Because of the inherent vulnerability of ED patients, particular attention should be paid to addressing barriers to adequate informed consent, and steps should be taken to ensure adequate delivery of information, understanding of the proposed intervention and its risks and benefits, and voluntariness of the informed consent.