A 69-year-old male with altered mental status

In case you didn’t encounter an elderly with altered mental status today!

631.1 - subdural

A 69-year-old male was brought to the ED by EMS because of altered mental status described by relatives. He hardly communicates and is not oriented. He has a motor weakness on the left upper and lower extremities 2 and 3 out of 5, respectively. BP: 183/88 mmHg. Other vitals are in normal range. CT scan image is given. What is next?

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A new chapter from Shabana Walia

Thyroid Storm chapter written by Shabana Walia from USA is just uploaded to the Website!

38 - atrial fibrillation

A 68-year-old female with hypertension presented to the emergency department with worsening of lower extremity swelling for the last few months. She appeared to be confused over the last three days according to her husband. He also noted that she had a fever. She had intermittent chest discomfort and was feeling “anxious.” She was compliant with the prescribed antihypertensive (lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide). She used no tobacco or illicit drug. She had a family history of hypertension and hyperthyroidism.

Her vitals at triage were as follows: BP 170 over 86mmHg, HR 136/min, RR 18/min, Temperature 40.2°C and SP O2 100% on room air. She appeared agitated and flushed, with bilateral exophthalmos and lid lag. Her thyroid was diffusely enlarged with bruit noted. Her pulse was irregularly irregular. She had pitting edema up to the mid-shin. Bilateral plantar reflexes were 3+. The rest of the physical examination was unremarkable.

Her blood test results were as follow:
Normal CBC and renal function.
Calcium: 11.5 mg/dL
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) < 0.01 milli-international unit/L
Free T3: > 30 picogram/mL
Free T4: > 6 nanogram/dL
Troponin: 0.1
Pro-BNP: 3,000 picogram/mL

A diagnosis of hyperthyroidism was made, and she was evaluated for possible thyroid storm.

by Shabana Walia from USA.

Do you have 9 minutes 40 seconds?

Hypernatremia chapter written by Vigor Arva and Gregor Prosen from Slovenia is just uploaded to the Website!

Pink Salt ^w^

A 79-year-old man was brought to the emergency department (ED) by his wife. She complained that the patient had general weakness and was feeling ‘unwell’ for the last two days. He had a history of dementia, diabetes, renal failure, and hypertension. He was on diabetic and antihypertensive medication.

On examination, his vital signs were as follow HR 115/min, BP 135/90 mmHg, RR 17/min, and afebrile with normal oxygen saturation. He was confused and disoriented, but there was no other deficits or localizing signs on neurological exam. He was clinically dehydrated with dry oral mucosa. Lab results showed a serum sodium concentration of 160 mEq/L, with elevated glucose, creatinine, urea, and osmolality. Point of care ultrasound demonstrated a small and almost totally-collapsed inferior vena cava. Upon further history taking, the patient’s wife reported that he had not been drinking much for the last few days, even though he did not complain about thirst.

by Vigor Arva and Gregor Prosen from Slovenia