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Imaging triage in the ER

1. You are the radiographer who is covering the Emergency room. The following patients are admitted and present with the following symptoms:
A. Dave Black, 34 year old, has been in an automobile accident, presents with abrasions and pain in his right leg.
B. Mary Green, 72 year old, presents with slurred speech, headache, muscle weakness on right side.
C. Ben Magenta, 68 year old, presents with weakness, sweating, tremors, and hunger

2. Answer the following questions:
A. Based on your best assessment of the client, what is the current problem?
B. Who needs to be your priority patient?
C. What would be your plan of care for each of the above clients? Be specific.

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Solution Preview

As an imaging specialist, your job is to assess what nature of patient evaluations are likely to be assisted by imaging modalities. Clearly Mr. Black has a situation for which imaging is appropriate (leg pain post-trauma), but he is young, not listed as being in distress and with no vital sign evidence of acute physiologic decompensation. Ms. Green, on the other hand, has clear evidence of a stroke in evolution, though we are not provided any time information (has she had the symptoms for one hour or two days). And finally, Mr. Magenta, though acute and emergent, is not an imaging ...

Solution Summary

Evaluation of ER patients suitable for imaging assessment requires a knowledge of the consequences of potential diagnoses. Three patients are presented, one with post-traumatic leg pain, another with possible metabolic derangement, and a third with a possible, serious neurologic event. Rationale for triage and treatment is presented.