The top 5 cases you shouldn’t miss in 2015

*Originally posted on our blog on December 22, 2015

In 2015, more than half a million healthcare professionals connected on Figure 1 to share some of medicine’s most compelling cases. Look back now on the top cases of the year:

Case 1: This 24-year-old’s massive pericardial effusion was caused by acute viral pericarditis. An initial physical examination demonstrated dyspnea on minimal exertion and very soft heart sounds. The patient was treated for a respiratory tract infection — until their care team saw the chest x-ray. A pericardiocentesis drained almost three litres of fluid. In response to this case, healthcare professionals debated how the effusion could have progressed to this astonishing size without cardiac tamponade.View the case now»

Thank you @danielaustin100 for sharing this case.

Case 2: This patient sustained third degree burns on the dorsum of his left hand, which was treated with a pedicled flap — a soft tissue cover with direct blood flow. These flaps can be used to cover exposed bone and tendon, major vessels, and organs. The patient healed within a month, demonstrating an effective and microsurgical-free therapeutic option in plastic surgery. In the comments on this case, an RN shared a similar case where their patient avoided limb amputation thanks to the dedicated blood supply offered by this treatment. View the case now»

Thank you @RNchelsea for sharing this case.

Case 3: This is the femur of a 10-year-old boy with Ewing’s Sarcoma who underwent limb salvage therapy. It was removed, treated with liquid nitrogen to kill remaining tumor cells, and then reimplanted. Following adjuvant chemotherapy, the patient is recovering well and able to ride his bike again. When asked about the long-term survival rate of this case in the comments, the orthopedic surgeon replied, “If they have no progression of disease (metastasis) and a good response to chemotherapy, the 5-year survival rate is 80%.” View the case now»

Thank you @jurubeba for sharing this case.

Case 4: This patient had a $40,000 USD workup including both invasive and non-invasive tests. Her diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis (MG) was made by a clever physician with an ice cube. Placing an ice cube on the patient’s eyelids for 30 to 60 seconds transiently improves ptosis in MG. The decreased temperature reduces activity of cholinesterase, resulting in increased acetylcholine concentration and improved transmission. Diagnostic tests like this are ideal because they are fast, painless, and inexpensive, with good sensitivity and specificity. View the case now»

Thank you @drbob for sharing this case.

Case 5: A 25-year-old female unrestrained passenger in a motor vehicle collision presented to the trauma bay with extensive injuries. A trauma work-up revealed a traumatic brain injury with intracranial hemorrhage, a traumatic eye injury requiring enucleation, and extensive facial fractures. This CT shows her completed facial reconstruction. Thanks to a dedicated multidisciplinary team, the patient is now ambulatory and recovering well. View the case now»

Thank you @sidsid for sharing this case.

To view the rest of Figure 1’s Top 10 Cases of 2015, open Figure 1 and check the top of your home feed.