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FACP. Colegio de médicos de Tarragona Nº 4305520 / fgcapriles@gmail.com




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dangerous Rashes

emDocs - July 18, 2016 - Author: Santistevan J - Edited by: Koyfman A
"A wide range of benign and dangerous pathology can present with a rash. It is wise to develop a systematic approach to rashes in the ED, one that helps you recognize the deadly causes of rash while narrowing the differential diagnosis.
Key elements from the history include the distribution and progression of the skin lesions, recent exposures (sick contacts, foreign travel, sexual history and vaccination status), and any new medications. On physical exam, pay specific attention to vital signs. A rash associated with fever or hypotension should make you worry about potentially deadly diagnoses. Perform a careful physical exam, including undressing the patient to fully examine the trunk and the extremities as well as the palms, soles and mucous membranes. Touch the skin with a gloved hand to determine if the lesions are flat or raised and press on lesions to see whether they blanch. Rub erythematous skin to see if it sloughs. Historical and physical “red flags” in a patient with an unknown rash include:
  • Fever
  • Toxic appearance
  • Hypotension
  • Mucosal lesions
  • Severe pain
  • Very old or young age
  • Immunosuppressed
  • New medication"