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Katherine Vaillancourt, a 2nd year med student at Quinnipiac University, shares how she used VisualDx to treat a patient in Malawi:
An 80 year old Mozambican man presented to a rural Malawian health care center for treatment of a wound on his left arm. He reported being bitten by a human on the volar aspect of his left wrist 3 weeks prior to coming to the hospital. He did not seek treatment as he believed that he was bewitched and this caused him to be bitten. He did use local herbal remedies on the wound which he did not know the names of. Upon presentation to the health center, the man's vitals were stable, though he was febrile, but he appeared to be in acute pain. The bite wound was not distinguishable because the entire left medial arm from the wrist to the mid-bicep was necrotic and oozing pus and blood. The arm was contracted in a flexed position at the elbow and could not be extended actively or passively. (*Necrotized cellulitis on patient's ankle depicted in picture is not the patient in this story.)
Necrotized cellulitis was the primary differential diagnosis, along with other diagnoses including burn, trauma, and gangrene. However, the bite wound could not be appreciated. VisualDx helped to clarify that necrotized cellulitis was our most likely diagnosis and so we treated with broad spectrum antibiotics IV, then orally and topical silver sulfadiazine.
Katherine Vaillancourt is a second year medical student at Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. Katherine has a passion for caring for women and children in underserved communities throughout the world, and has a special relationship with the people of Likoma Island, Malawi, where she is researching community perspectives on birthing care and perinatal mortality.
This story is part of our Story Share Project. Our mission is improving diagnostic accuracy and we believe sharing these user stories are critical to promoting the mission.
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VisualDx is an award-winning diagnostic clinical decision support system that has become the standard electronic resource at more than half of U.S. medical schools and more than 1,500 hospitals and institutions nationwide. VisualDx combines clinical search with the world's best medical image library, plus medical knowledge from experts to help with diagnosis, treatment, self-education, and patient communication. Expanding to provide diagnostic decision support across General Medicine, the new VisualDx brings increased speed and accuracy to the art of diagnosis. Learn more at www.visualdx.com.