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1/26. Right-sided pleural effusion in spontaneous esophageal perforation.

    Spontaneous esophageal perforation (Boerhaave's syndrome) is a rare clinical entity in which overindulgence in a large meal precedes vomiting and chest pain. early diagnosis and aggressive management are keys to minimizing the morbidity and mortality. We report an unusual presentation of this already uncommon occurrence in a 33-year-old female. She presented to the Emergency Department with severe chest pain following vomiting with hematemesis after a large meal. The initial chest radiograph showed up nothing in particular. dyspnea developed two days later, and a right-sided pleural effusion was seen on chest x-ray. Panendoscopy was highly suggestive of Boerhaave's syndrome. She underwent emergency operation. After three months of hospital care, she was discharged in relatively good condition. This case of right-sided pleural effusion extends the reported description of Boerhaave's syndrome.
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2/26. Hepatic steatosis and lactic acidosis caused by stavudine in an hiv-infected patient.

    Lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis caused by mitochondrial toxicity of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) is a rare cause of liver disease with a high mortality rate. This report describes a male, hiv-positive patient with a 4-week history of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. His medication consisted of prednisone 5 mg od (because of auto-immune thrombocytopenia), didanosine (for 2 years) and stavudine (for 3 months). Laboratory studies showed cholestasis and elevation of aminotransferases. Lactic level was not measured. liver biopsy revealed steatosis and cholestatic hepatitis. In the absence of other causes of liver disease a probable diagnosis of stavudine-induced hepatic toxicity was made. After discontinuation of NRTI, he recovered completely. Because lactic acidosis had not been confirmed, stavudine was restarted and within 1 week the lactate level increased significantly. Therefore stavudine was discontinued again. One year later the patient is doing well on a double protease inhibitor regimen. In conclusion, clinicians treating patients with NRTI should be aware of the risk of lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis. When this is suspected, all NRTI must be stopped. The diagnosis can be made when elevated lactate levels and hepatic steatosis are present in the absence of other causes of liver disease.
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3/26. Strangulated obturator hernia: still deadly.

    The case of an elderly, emaciated female patient with recurrent lower abdominal and hip pain associated with nausea and vomiting due to an incarcerated obturator hernia is described. The presence of a Howship-Romberg sign and a tender mass on digital rectal examination in this thin, elderly woman with a small bowel obstruction led to the rapid diagnosis of an obturator hernia by computed tomography (CT). The high mortality rate associated with this most lethal of all abdominal hernias requires a high index of suspicion to facilitate rapid diagnosis and surgical intervention if the survival rate is to be improved.
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4/26. Toxicity of over-the-counter cough and cold medications.

    Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medications are marketed widely for relief of common cold symptoms, and yet studies have failed to demonstrate a benefit of these medications for young children. In addition, OTC medications can be associated with significant morbidity and even mortality in both acute overdoses and when administered in correct doses for chronic periods of time. physicians often do not inquire about OTC medication use, and parents (or other caregivers) often do not perceive OTCs as medications. We present 3 cases of adverse outcomes over a 13-month period-including 1 death-as a result of OTC cough and cold medication use. We explore the toxicities of OTC cough and cold medications, discuss mechanisms of dosing errors, and suggest why physicians should be more vigilant in specifically inquiring about OTCs when evaluating an ill child.
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5/26. Gastric rupture caused by acute gastric distention in non-neonatal children: clinical analysis of 3 cases.

    OBJECTIVE: To study gastric rupture, a progressive, rapid and high mortality condition, caused by acute gastric distention (GRAGD) and its appropriate diagnosis and treatment. methods: The etiology, pathology, clinical manifestations and experiences in 3 children with GRAGD were reviewed. RESULTS: Case 1: After diagnosing GRAGD and stabilizing her shock with massive fluid replacement, gastrostomy was performed. Her postoperative course was uneventful because of fasting, suction, fluid infusion, correction of acidosis and supporting nutrition. Case 2: After diagnosing gastric distention which subsided with conservative therapy for 9 days, she suddenly had gastric rupture when she had not eaten for 6 days. She died of shock and had no chance for surgery. Case 3: The patient had sudden abdominal pain, distention and vomiting with severe shock for 4 days. Emergency surgery found gastric rupture and the method was the same as Case 1. The patient survived but has brain impairment. Case 1 and 3 showed multifocal transmural necrosis. CONCLUSIONS: Symptoms like overeating, bulimia, changes in kind of food, X-ray showing large distended stomach and massive pneumoperitoneum were seen after gastric rupture and can help to diagnose this condition. Clinical course of gastric distention with toxic shock progresses rapidly, however subsequent gastric rupture exacerbates the shock and makes the treatment difficult treatment. It is extremely important that a laparotomy be performed at once after stabilizing shock with massive fluid replacement. Postoperative nutritional support and fluid replacement will increase survival. It is very important that when gastric distention disappears after conservative therapy, the doctor should assess carefully whether the gastric wall recovery is under way by using effective methods of examination.
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6/26. Morgagni hernia: case report.

    This is a case report of an elderly woman who presented with a history of epigastric pain and persistent vomiting diagnosed initially as a duodenal ulcer, later as a pyloric stenosis and at laparotomy was found to have an anterior diaphragmatic hernia with gastric volvulus. hernia of Morgagni occurs through a congenital defect in the diaphragm but usually presents in adulthood. It could be an incidental diagnosis or can present with obstructing symptoms of the herniated viscera. Treatment is surgical with reduction of hernia and repair of the diaphragmatic defect. If misdiagnosed, this can lead to considerable morbidity and occasionally mortality due to the obstructed/strangulated hernial contents.
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7/26. superior mesenteric artery syndrome following surgery for scoliosis.

    STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective report of three cases outlining upper intestinal obstruction as a rare complication following surgery for scoliosis. OBJECTIVE: To present the clinical features, progression, and management of duodenal obstruction due to superior mesenteric artery compression after surgical treatment of scoliosis. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Superior mesenteric artery or cast syndrome has been reported historically in the literature. Many causes are described, among which is the complication of the surgical and nonoperative treatment of scoliosis. methods: Three adolescent patients were investigated for nausea and vomiting following surgical correction of scoliosis. RESULTS: Contrast radiography confirmed extrinsic obstruction of the third part of the duodenum by the superior mesenteric artery in all three patients. They were jointly managed with the gastrointestinal surgeons. Two patients recovered with conservative treatments, but the third required operative intervention with a laparotomy. CONCLUSIONS: vomiting following surgery for scoliosis should be investigated thoroughly, as superior mesenteric artery syndrome carries significant morbidity, protracted hospital stay, and potential mortality.
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8/26. Boerhaave's syndrome: The importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

    Boerhaave's syndrome, spontaneous esophageal rupture, is associated with a 70% survival with surgical intervention. mortality and morbidity are increased in direct proportion to the time between diagnosis and appropriate surgical intervention. sepsis, hypovolemia and shock are the predominant causes of morbidity and mortality in Boerhaave's syndrome. Two cases of Boerhaave's syndrome are presented which were diagnosed rapidly, and were managed surgically, resulting in survival of the patients. A review of the literature is also presented with emphasis on the clinical and roentgenologic methods of diagnosis of spontaneous esophageal rupture. Particular attention is given to the fact that early diagnosis and treatment will unquestionably reduce the morbidity of this syndrome.
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9/26. Ready to go.

    The patient with a decreased level of consciousness in the absence of trauma presents difficult assessment and intervention problems. This is compounded when the history is vague or nonspecific. In this case, the patient's history of embolic CVA alerted providers to the possibility of another thrombus. This patient's sudden symptoms could have resulted from a clot in the brain, heart or aorta. This patient presented with an altered level of consciousness, vomiting and low blood pressure. As is typical in elderly female patients, she had an unusual presentation of an MI. A myocardial infaction is classified as either transmural or subendocardial. A transmural infarct extends through the full thickness of the myocardium and holds greater-risk of complications due to loss of functional muscle. In a subendocardial infarct, necrosis is limited to the endocardial surface. Although many elderly patients present with subendocardial MIs, this one had a large transmural MI. In general, the circumflex artery serves the lateral and posterior walls of the myocardium, and the right coronary artery (RCA) serves the inferior wall. In an anterior MI, the left anterior descending artery (LAD) is obstructed. This vessel serves the left ventricle, parts, of the septum and paillary muscles. The LAD is often referred to as the "widowmaker" because left ventricular infarcts have a high incidence of mortality. Occlusion of LAD can cause the usual damage of an MI, and can also cause fatal damage to the valves. This patient was in profound cardiogenic shock -- the left ventricle had infarcted and was unable to maintain cardiac output. Because of her recent stroke, she was not a candidate for thrombolytic medication. With ultrasonography, a large area of the anterior wall was found to be akinetic, or not functioning at all. In this care, the sourrounding myocardium not only has to pump blood with less muscle but also to "drag" the dead tissue. This results in a progressively higher rate of O2 cnsumption within the heart, further damage to the strained heart, and death. As cigarette smoking and obesity complete for the leading preventable cause of death in the united states, familiarity with cardiac anatomy and physiology 12-lead interpretation, pharmacology and electrical therapy is essential for all emergency providers
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10/26. Boerhaave's syndrome presenting as a right-sided pleural effusion.

    INTRODUCTION: Boerhaave's syndrome is an uncommon condition where there is oesophageal rupture following forceful vomiting, subsequent mediastinitis and is associated with high mortality and morbidity in the absence of therapy. We present a case of Boerhaave's syndrome in a 79-year-old woman who developed a right-sided effusion, an unusual presentation. CLINICAL PICTURE: A 79-year-old woman developed a right-sided empyema and mediastinitis after a bout of repeated vomiting. Gastrograffin swallows and oesophago-gastroduodenoscopy confirmed oesophageal rupture. TREATMENT: The patient was treated with antibiotics and a tube thoracostomy. An open thoracotomy, oesophagostomy and thoracic window was subsequently performed. OUTCOME: The oesophageal rupture was contained but patient died from postoperative complications. CONCLUSIONS: physicians should have a high index of suspicion of oesophageal rupture when patients present with Meckler's triad of symptoms and especially when pleural fluid cultures grow bacteria native to the gastrointestinal tract.
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