Medical Trainees

Get up to speed on sepsis

A 45 year old woman is admitted with right iliac fossa pain following a laparotomy two weeks ago for endometriosis. She has a respiratory rate of 24 breaths per minute, oxygen saturations of 94% on room air, heart rate 117 bpm, blood pressure 108/68 mmHg, and a temperature of 38.5℃. On examination she has tenderness in the right iliac fossa with pus draining from the incision site. You are asked to do a structured risk assessment for possible sepsis. How will you proceed - and how should your findings guide your management plan?

Check your answers in our new Hospital challenges module on
Sepsis in adults. You will work through patient scenarios that are typical of the situations you face in everyday practice as you learn about all the latest practice-changing developments in the evidence, guidance and classification of sepsis. The module is already proving very popular with other users:

"Excellent module with important details about updated sepsis guidelines."

"Very informative and relevant in clinical practice."

How would you manage this emergency?

A 62 year old man has been referred for medical admission by his GP and you are asked to see him when he arrives at the hospital. The patient has developed a sudden-onset headache and has become mildly confused. One of the ward nurses calls you as you’re reading the referral letter. The patient has started to have a tonic-clonic seizure. You notice his face and lips are blue. What are the most urgent next steps in managing this patient?

Check your answer in our new Hospital presentations module on The unconscious patient. You’ll learn as you work through patient scenarios that are typical of the situations you might face in your daily work. Other users are giving the module great reviews:

"Important, informative and useful in daily practice."

"Excellent overview with practical, hands-on advice."

Safe prescribing in renal impairment

Prescribing in patients with acute or chronic kidney impairment can be tricky, with dose adjustments, nephrotoxicity, fluid balance and monitoring requirements among the factors you need to consider. In our new module on Safe prescribing in patients with kidney impairment, you will learn as you work through common prescribing scenarios. Drug classes covered include antibiotics, anticoagulants, antidiabetic agents and antihypertensives.

A patient in cardiac arrest

A 65 year old woman has been brought in by ambulance in cardiac arrest with cardiopulmonary resuscitation ongoing. She has had four shocks, and had 300mg amiodarone and 1mg of adrenaline after the third shock. The rhythm is assessed for the beginning of the fifth cycle and it shows ventricular fibrillation. What should you do next?

Check your answer in our new module on Advanced life support for in-hospital adult cardiac arrest. It covers everything from compressions to defibrillation, as well as managing the airway, drugs, and more. It also looks at what to do after resuscitation for post-resuscitation care and deciding when to stop CPR. It’s already proving very popular with other junior doctors:

"Very well written, concise and explains clearly the modifications needed in a step wise approach, giving the provider a clear plan of action."

What do these ABG results indicate?

You see a 20 year old woman with acute severe asthma in the emergency department. She is unable to speak in full sentences. She has been given oxygen (15 l/min) via a reservoir bag mask. Her arterial blood gas results are as follows:

  • pH: 7.47
  • pO2: 11.2 kPa
  • pCO2: 3.7 kPa
  • HCO3-: 25 mmol/l

What is her acid-base disturbance?

Check your answer in our updated module on Arterial blood gases: a guide to interpretation. It offers a practical five-step approach that will help ensure you feel confident on everything from how to distinguish respiratory from metabolic disturbances through to trickier challenges like calculating the alveolar-arterial gradient and understanding what it means for diagnosis and management of the patient.

Are you confident in managing shock?

How can you distinguish between hypovolaemic, cardiogenic, distributive and obstructive causes of shock? What’s the latest evidence on crystalloid versus colloid when giving fluid resuscitation to a patient with shock? How do you estimate blood loss in a patient with hypovolaemic shock? And what are the new diagnostic criteria for septic shock?

Check your answers in our new module Hospital Presentations: Shock. You’ll learn as you work through patient cases that are typical of the kind of scenarios you might face in your daily work.

The module is already getting great reviews from other junior doctors:

“A must-read for juniors - and seniors as well!”

“Excellent and up to date. Very useful and practical.”

Build your confidence in starting anticoagulation safely

Pinprick blood test

A 40 year old man is diagnosed as having a deep vein thrombosis. You start him on low molecular weight heparin and then warfarin. On day four his INR is 2.3. What should you do?

Check your answer in our newly updated module on Starting patients on anticoagulation. Anticoagulants have many benefits but they can also cause harm and adverse events are common in the hospital setting. Initiating anticoagulation is particularly risky and doing it safely is complex. After completing the module, you will be familiar with the indications and contraindications for different anticoagulation options, clear about starting doses and ongoing monitoring, aware of the pitfalls and informed on how to reverse the effects of anticoagulant drugs.


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If you’d like to help BMJ Learning ensure we deliver the content that you need as a medical trainee, join our audience panel to provide feedback and ideas. Email clinical editor Jo Haynes.

Animated practical skills modules to support you in your first years on the ward