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




Friday, October 21, 2016

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the ED

emDocs - October 19, 2016 - Authors: Berman S and Bucher J 

Edited by: Koyfman A and Long B
"Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive systemic polyarticular inflammatory arthritis of unclear etiology. Its prevalence in the U.S. is about 1%, and it affects women roughly twice as often as men. While not fatal itself, complications of the disease make it the most common rheumatic disease requiring ICU admission. Understanding of this disease is necessary for the emergency medicine physician to improve patient morbidity and mortality.
Admission to the hospital follows either an infection or a disease flare. Typical disease presentation includes severe joint pain with symmetric synovial joint involvement. If left untreated, patients have a risk of deformity and disability. However, with the advent of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and newer biologic agents, the disease course has changed dramatically.
So what can we as EM docs do? Being armed with the knowledge of this disease and its complications can lead to earlier recognition and diagnosis as well as optimal outcomes...
Rheumatoid arthritis, a seemingly benign disease entity itself, carries a host of anxiety-inducing complications that every ED doc should be able to address. While RA is largely a clinical diagnosis in the ED, prompt recognition of its complications can lead to decreases in morbidity and mortality down the road for these patients."