Top Medical Cases of 2021

Top medical cases of 2021

From trauma cases to COVID-19 and everything between, each year thousands of medical cases are shared in Figure 1. Here are the top five that received the most buzz in 2021. 

#5 Interpreting an ECG

#5 medical case of 2021

In our #5 medical case for the year, an 80-year-old man visited the emergency department after feeling unwell for several days. He lives alone and was struggling to manage in the weeks prior to the hospital visit. According to the Figure 1 member who shared the case, “He remains hemodynamically stable at all times. However, he does not look well. The senior doctor on call struggles to interpret his 12 lead ECG recorded on admission.” 

Can you read this ECG? View the case to find out what the ECG shows

#4 Hand Crushed Between Boat and Dock

#4 medical case of 2021

Our #4 medical case was submitted by an EMT after their first trauma case involving a 17-year-old male who crushed their hand between a boat and a dock. The EMT shared, “Dispatched as a traumatic injury upon arrival found a 17 y/o male who had his hand wrapped with a rag to keep from bleeding everywhere … patient walked to the ambulance … initially I wrapped his hand with 4×4’s and rolled gauze to stop the control the bleeding well other interventions were being done.”

The EMT also asked the community for any constructive feedback, and Figure 1 members jumped in to offer advice. 

A physician assistant student shared, “From an ER perspective: Concise and purposeful presentation of the patient is an incredibly important skill to master quickly. You’re off to a good start but practice as much as possible. When reporting the injury try to give the mechanism like ‘hand crushed between boat and the dock.’ Tell us how it happened rather than why.”

And a paramedic offered, “Looks like you did a good job all in all. Like the others said, don’t unwrap the wound and estimate blood loss to the best of your ability.”

What’s your advice for this EMT? View the case and offer your insights

A recap of the top 5 medical cases of the year shared by members of the Figure 1

#3 An Unknown Rash

#3 medical case of 2021

A Figure 1 member and registered nurse shared our #3 medical case in 2021 of a patient who had mollascum contagiosum removed from the neck using acid six months prior by a dermatologist. “This dry/red area appeared and continues to grow. Failed corticosteroid and anti fungal treatment creams.” 

Some suggestions in the comments were a secondary bacterial infection and a granuloma annulare variant. 

What’s your diagnosis? View the case and join the conversation

#2 A Painful, Burning Rash 

#2 medical case of 2021

Our #2 medical case for the year describes a 32-year-old patient with no comorbidities who recently dealt with a stressful situation. According to the Figure 1 member who shared the case, “The patient has experienced pain and a burning sensation on the posterior region of the shoulder and upper third of the right arm.” A dermatologist prescribed a topical steroid. 

How would you treat this rash? View the case and weigh in

#1 Rash Following COVID-19 Vaccine

#1 medical case of 2021

And our top medical case for 2021 discusses a patient with rashes all over the body three day after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The Figure 1 member who shared the post noted, “No itching, mild pain. Appears to be infected on posterior right knee. Warm to touch, no drainage … describes feeling chills and night sweats all expected signs of vaccine but the skin rashes is new to me.”

Comments range from, “Maybe it is a delayed vaccine reaction” to “The rash could be coincidental and have nothing to do with the vaccine. Possible but not probable.”

What do you think caused this rash? View the case and see what your colleagues said

Published December 6, 2021


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