For many medical students, learning about neurology and incorporating textbook information into clinical practice can be difficult. Use of medical calculators can help medical students excel on their neurology rotations and increase understanding of the specialty. Professors and attendings also stress the importance of extensive neurological examinations and there are several medical calculators that can also aid in determining diagnosis of neurological conditions.
Additionally, there are numerous neurology high-yield clinical pearls which are tested on United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) step examinations and board certifications. Medical students can utilize the algorithms available online or via Medal’s iOS or Android app to review clinical information, diagnostic workup, and review high-yield board examination topics.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Diagnosis (SAH)
Bleeding into the subarachnoid space (between the pial and arachnoid membranes). Patients, especially the elderly, may have a chief complaint of the “worst headache of their life.” A proper history, physical exam, and imaging are the hallmarks of diagnosis which needs to be prompt in order to lower the risk for mortality.
Risk of Stroke in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation (afib)
Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia. It is estimated to affect anywhere from 3-6 million people in the United States. As a result of change in normal beating of the heart, there is an increased risk for blood clot formation which can travel to the brain, causing a stroke. A person with afib has a 4-5x increased risk for stroke than someone without afib. Estimating risk for stroke in a patient with afib provides the clinician with a tool to determine which type of medication(s) are best to reduce the risk.
It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States have 1 or more migraine headaches per year. Migraines are more common in females (3:1). Migraine headaches can be extremely debilitating and the symptoms can overlap with other headache causes, including some conditions which indicate serious intracranial pathology. Early identification and treatment as well as avoiding possible triggers are needed for proper management.
Whether reviewing clinical information for a test or caring for patients in the hospital or clinic, neurology algorithms available through The Medical Algorithms Company can assist in medical education and clinical decision support. Medical students, residents, and veteran doctors can utilize the algorithms online or through the Android or iOS app.