Author: Anbin Naidoo / Editor: Nick Tilbury / Codes: EnC6, RC1, RC2, RP1, SLO1, SLO2, SLO3 / Published: 10/03/2022

A 45-year–old male patient presents to the Emergency Department (ED) with his wife. Earlier in the day he had thyroid surgery and was observed for seven hours before being discharged home. The triage notes state that he is quite anxious, and is complaining of pain at the surgical site, with pins and needles in his fingers. He also has some slight dysphagia.

It’s typically another busy night in the ED and he is placed into the waiting room.

One hour later, you’re called into the resuscitation area. The same patient is cyanosed, has stridor and is sitting in a tripod position. He has no rash. The resuscitation nurses look worried, have inserted a cannula and started oxygen.

His observations are:

  • SpO2 83 % on 15L O2
  • RR 35
  • HR 120
  • BP 160/100 mm Hg
  • GCS 15