So I get an early morning call from a really good ER guy informing me of a likely ICU admission: a young guy (30’s) with a bilateral pneumonia and fever whom he suspected might get worse before he got better. He’s given him some fluids and started ceftriaxone and azithromycin. Sounds good to me. Sold. I tell him I’ll come take a look as soon as I roll into work (we do home call).
An hour or so later I head to the ED and see a him, in bed at 30 degrees or so with nasal prongs, maybe a little tachypneic but certainly not in severe distress and not particularly toxic. The nurse informs me that his temperature was apparently 40 degrees. The CXR (I’ll try to put it up soon) shows bilateral infiltrates, more predominant in the lower two thirds of the lung fields. WBC is 14, lactate 2.3.
So this guy had been short of breath for about 2 weeks, having some cough and localized left sided pain associated with movement, cough and pressure. The cough was non-productive. As I was getting this history (yup, generally bedside ultrasound is simultaneous with history-taking for me), this is what I see:
(parasternal long axis)
(parasternal short axis)
(right lower costal margin)
(you can see this in most of the lung fields)
He has no past medical history or notable family history, drinks occasional wine, has not traveled of late and works as an electrician. He is active and played soccer – the last time a few weeks ago. He came to the ED for dyspnea, but had still been able to go up several flights of stairs, albeit with more dyspnea than he normally would have.
check back tomorrow and let’s see what happens!