A Learning Module for the Approach to Pediatric Urologic Emergencies

Publication ID Published Volume
9918 September 24, 2014 10


This resource provides an overview of eight key pediatric urologic emergencies including: testicular torsion, paraphimosis, disorders of sexual differentiation, nephrolithiasis, antenatal hydronephrosis, incarcerated inguinal hernia, hydroceles and major abdominal birth defects. In the podcast, each condition is provided with a brief description of presenting signs and symptoms, key differential diagnoses, an approach to the proper diagnostic work-up and appropriate therapeutic management. Additionally, two case presentations are provided with supplemental multiple choice questions to further enhance an evidence based approach to understanding pediatric urologic emergencies.

This teaching module involves a number of resources including word documents, interactive cases with questions, and a podcast which is part of a learning module for PedsCases (http://pedscases.com).

The goal of PedsCases is to develop a comprehensive educational tool that focuses on the core objectives of undergraduate pediatric education. The website offers students multiple learning modalities including multiple choice questions, multi-step clinical scenarios, flashcard type quizzes, links to evidence-based articles and podcasts.

Content is designed to teach medical students the appropriate sequence of events that accompany the presentation, investigation, diagnosis and treatment of the common pediatric diseases. This method of teaching is often lacking at the level of undergraduate medical education and these cases provide students with the opportunity to learn in a realistic and practical fashion.

Site users can progress through multi-step scenarios that represent potential clinical encounters. Each case begins with a description of the clinical situation with the potential answer concealed to encourage student reflection prior to revealing the options. The solutions to each step often require multiple selections, thereby reflecting more accurately the complexity of clinical medicine. Following each prompt, an explanation follows which often includes a link to a recommended research article or website for further information. Questions on PedsCases follow a similar format with detailed explanations.

PedsCases has developed Podcasts for students to use as a supplementary method of reviewing material. The podcasts are developed with pediatricians with expertise on the topic to ensure it covers the key learning objectives. The podcast is a concise overview of the key learning objectives relative to the specific module. The podcasts are available free online at iTunes.

PedsCases has been integrated into the third year undergraduate pediatric medical education curriculum at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It is one of the main sources recommended to students to cover the core objectives of the clinical pediatric rotation and to assist in preparing for the final examinations. Since the focus of medical education has shifted towards independent learning, PedsCases has become an essential tool.

PedsCases is one of the top 5 references returned by Internet search engines (including Google and MSN) for the term "pediatric cases for medical students." PedsCases is posted as a recommended resource at the Canadian Healthcare Education Commons (CHEC), the PICUinfo Pediatric Critical Care Library, the Lincoln Memorial University Library website and the Distributed Medical Education Blog at Dalhousie University.


Assmus M, Metcalfe P. A learning module for the approach to pediatric urologic emergencies. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2014;10:9918. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9918

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. Understand the clinical features, workup and management of eight key pediatric urologic emergencies: testicular torsion, disorders of sexual differentiation, paraphimosis, incarcerated inguinal hernia, antenatal hydronephrosis, nephrolithiasis, hydrocele and major abdominal birth defects.
  2. Define testicular torsion.
  3. State the prevalence of testicular torsion.
  4. List the important components of the history and physical exam in assessing acute scrotal pain in a pediatric patient.
  5. Develop appropriate differential diagnoses for acute scrotal pain in a pediatric patient.
  6. List appropriate investigations to be included in the initial workup of acute scrotal pain.
  7. List common surgical complications of testicular torsion repair.
  8. Define hydrocele.
  9. State the prevalence of hydrocele.
  10. List appropriate components of the history and physical exam in assessing a pediatric patient with scrotal swelling.
  11. Develop an appropriate list of differential diagnoses for scrotal swelling.
  12. List the appropriate workup for scrotal swelling in a pediatric patient.


  • Pediatric, Urology, Emergencies, Testicular Torsion, Spermatic Cord Torsion, Paraphimosis, Hernia, Nephrolithiasis, Hydronephrosis, Hydrocele

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ISSN 2374-8265