“Multiple medical concerns to consider…” Case Conclusion October 4, 2012

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in: Hematologic/Allergic/Endocrine Emergencies , add a comment

Your elderly patient had multiple medical concerns that required emergent evaluation. You diagnosed her with severe hypernatremia, likely secondary to her underlying disease processes, combined with a lack of access to free water. In addition to her pneumonia, she had been having gastrointestinal losses from vomiting, along with her known underlying renal insufficiency. On arrival, she was hypotensive and febrile. You immediately established 2 large-bore IVs, placed her on 2 L oxygen via nasal cannula, and obtained a finger-stick blood glucose. You began her management by correcting her hypoperfusion and hypovolemia with a 500- mL NS bolus followed by a second 500-mL NS bolus for her persistent hypotension after the pulmonary exam and confirmation of her past medical history. You then began treatment of the underlying causes of her hypernatremia with antipyretics, antiemetics, and antibiotics for her fever, vomiting, and pneumonia, respectively. After 2 NS boluses, her vital signs normalized, and slow correction of hypernatremia was initiated with 1/2NS at 100 mL/h over 48 hours as an inpatient.

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Multiple medical concerns to consider… September 28, 2012

Posted by Andy Jagoda, MD in: Hematologic/Allergic/Endocrine Emergencies , 8 comments

An 88-year-old woman with history of moderate dementia presents via ground ambulance for irritability and increased weakness after having 2 weeks of cough and vomiting at her extended care facility. She was found febrile and confused during morning nursing rounds. Her past medical history is significant for recent cerebrovascular accident with residual left-sided weakness and chronic kidney disease. Current medications include metformin, hydrochlorothiazide, metoprolol, and aspirin. Her vital signs on arriving in the ED are blood pressure 98/63 mm Hg, pulse 95 beats per minute, respiratory rate 24 breaths per minute, oral temperature 38.3C, and oxygen saturation 95% on 2 L nasal cannula. On physical exam, she is frail and appears dehydrated, with intermittent confusion. Her pulmonary exam is remarkable for crackles at the right base with mild diffuse abdominal discomfort. Her chest x-ray shows right middle lobe pneumonia. Blood is obtained, and a serum chemistry panel shows sodium 152 mEq/L, potassium 4.0 mEq/L, chloride 108 mEq/L, bicarbonate 14 mEq/L, BUN 55 mg/dL, creatinine 1.7 mg/dL, and glucose 131 mg/dL. The nurse asks you what IV fluids you want and how fast

What’s your diagnosis? And how do you proceed?

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