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1/34. Fatal child abuse by forced water intoxication.

    BACKGROUND: Although water intoxication leading to brain damage is common in children, fatal child abuse by forced water intoxication is virtually unknown. methods: During the prosecution of the homicide of an abused child by forced water intoxication, we reviewed all similar cases in the united states where the perpetrators were found guilty of homicide. In 3 children punished by forced water intoxication who died, we evaluated: the types of child abuse, clinical presentation, electrolytes, blood gases, autopsy findings, and the fate of the perpetrators. FINDINGS: Three children were forced to drink copious amounts of water (over 6 L). All had seizures, emesis, and coma, presenting to hospitals with hypoxemia (PO2 = 44 /- 8 mm Hg) and hyponatremia (plasma Na = 112 /- 2 mmol/L). Although all showed evidence of extensive physical abuse, the history of forced water intoxication was not revealed to medical personnel, thus none of the 3 children were treated for their hyponatremia. All 3 patients died and at autopsy had cerebral edema and aspiration pneumonia. The perpetrators of all three deaths by forced water intoxication were eventually tried and convicted. INTERPRETATION: Forced water intoxication is a new generally fatal syndrome of child abuse that occurs in children previously subjected to other types of physical abuse. patients present with coma, hyponatraemia, and hypoxemia of unknown etiology. If health providers were made aware of the association, the hyponatremia is potentially treatable.
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keywords = death
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2/34. Familial fatal and near-fatal third ventricle colloid cysts.

    BACKGROUND: Despite having a presumed congenital origin, familial cases of colloid cysts have been reported only rarely. The first case of a brother and sister with colloid cysts is reported here, and the relevant literature is reviewed. methods: A 25-year-old man presented with a 24-h history of headache and vomiting. He rapidly became unconscious and fulfilled the criteria for brain death on arrival at hospital. No surgical intervention was performed. RESULTS: The patient's sister presented at the age of 41 with headaches and rapidly became unconscious. The sister had urgent bilateral ventriculostomies. followed by transcallosal removal of a colloid cyst. CONCLUSIONS: These cases support the hypothesis that colloid cysts are congenital lesions and provide some evidence of a possible genetic predisposition to their formation. Sudden death remains a real risk for patients harbouring a colloid cyst.
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keywords = death
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3/34. Gastric adenocarcinoma presenting with persistent, mild gastrointestinal symptoms in pregnancy. A case report.

    BACKGROUND: Mild gastrointestinal symptoms are common during pregnancy but can also be the only symptoms in stomach cancer until the late stage. Clinicians' reluctance to pursue diagnostic studies appears to be a major contributing factor to delayed diagnosis and poor outcome. We report a case of maternal death to alert clinicians to this rare possibility. CASE: A 36-year-old woman had persistent, mild epigastric discomfort, nausea, vomiting and frequent episodes of dark stools since the second trimester of pregnancy. These were attributed to peptic ulcer and an iron supplement given, without investigation. gastroscopy was performed only at 32 weeks of gestation, when the patient had heavy hematemesis. biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma of the stomach. cesarean section was performed after steroid therapy. Advanced stomach cancer with stomach perforation was found. Curative surgery was not possible. The patient died four weeks after delivery. CONCLUSION: stomach cancer is a rare complication of pregnancy. Delay in diagnosis is commonly due to clinicians' reluctance to request diagnostic studies and the nonspecific symptoms of the disease. Early recognition and diagnosis are the only possibilities for a better outcome. Clinicians must be alert to this possibility and include this in the differential diagnosis of minor gastrointestinal discomfort during pregnancy.
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ranking = 1
keywords = death
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4/34. Death following cupric sulfate emesis.

    Case history: A 25-year-old woman who had ingested about 20 tablets of diazepam 2.5 mg in a suicide attempt was given cupric sulfate 2.5 g in 1750 mL water as an emetic, but died 3 days later. On autopsy, death was attributed to acute hemolysis and acute renal failure due to copper poisoning. copper concentrations were 5.31 microg/mL in whole blood, 19.0 microg/g in the liver, 8.9 microg/g in the kidney, 1.1 microg/L in the brain, 1.1 microg/g in the gastric wall, 1.5 microg/g in the jejunal wall, 0.3 microg/g in the colon wall, 4.6 microg/g in the gastric contents, and 12.6 microg/g in the intestinal contents (fresh weight). This case and 10 others from the Chinese medical literature provide additional evidence that cupric sulfate is a corrosive poison and contraindicated as an emetic.
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keywords = death
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5/34. 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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keywords = death
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6/34. Complications of ultrarapid opioid detoxification with subcutaneous naltrexone pellets.

    Rapid and ultrarapid opioid detoxification (ROD and UROD) centers promise quick, painless, same-day detoxification treatment for patients with opioid addiction. The goal of ROD and UROD is to provide a rapid transition from opioid dependency to oral naltrexone therapy. The patient is given general anesthesia and high-dose opioid antagonists. This induces a severe withdrawal but spares the patient the experience. In theory, the process is complete within four to five hours. The patient awakens without opioid dependency and is started on oral naltrexone. Any subsequent, persistent withdrawal symptoms are treated symptomatically. A novel, unapproved approach is to compound a pellet of naltrexone and implant it in the subcutaneous tissue. In theory, this should result in continuous therapeutic levels for this drug, and avoid issues with noncompliance. CASE SERIES: This article reports six cases of complications from the same detoxification center that performed UROD with naltrexone pellet implantation, including pulmonary edema, prolonged withdrawal, drug toxicity, withdrawal from cross-addiction to alcohol and benzodiazepines, variceal rupture, aspiration pneumonia, and death. CONCLUSIONS: The risks of this procedure are great and further studies should assess its safety and the novel use of naltrexone.
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keywords = death
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7/34. Intractable vomiting from glioblastoma metastatic to the fourth ventricle: three case studies.

    Dissemination of malignant glioma to the fourth ventricle with metastatic deposits and intractable vomiting is rare. Leptomeningeal extension of malignant glioma is an uncommon condition that has been reported in patients with end-stage disease and is usually unresponsive to any treatment modality. We describe 3 patients with progressing recurrent glioblastoma multiforme in whom leptomeningeal invasion manifested itself as intractable vomiting due to tumor metastases in the floor of the fourth ventricle. All patients received additional radiation therapy focused to the posterior fossa, with complete resolution of vomiting occurring within 10 days after irradiation. The remission of symptoms in these patients persisted until their death 3-4 months after the repeat radiation therapy. These reports indicate that additional focused radiation should be considered because of its significant therapeutic effect in alleviating intractable nausea and vomiting in patients with glioma metastasized to the posterior fossa.
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ranking = 1
keywords = death
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8/34. pulmonary embolism: a rare cause of sudden infant death.

    pulmonary embolism can be observed at any age, but it occurs very rarely in the infant. The authors report the case of a 12-month-old boy who suddenly died during clinical improvement of gastroenteritis associated with otitis. autopsy showed signs of dehydration and acute left pulmonary embolism, which was the cause of death. thrombosis of the inferior vena cava extending into renal veins was seen. In this case, plasma hyperosmolality caused by dehydration might have favored the formation of venous thromboses. The various risk factors of pulmonary embolism in the child are discussed, including genetic factors.
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9/34. 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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ranking = 2
keywords = death
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10/34. The role of the biochemistry department in the diagnosis of pituitary apoplexy.

    A 47-year-old man presented with severe clinical hypoglycaemia. He had long-standing insulin-dependent diabetes with previously good glycaemic control. Intense headaches and vomiting initiated hospitalization. A brain computed tomography (CT) scan was normal, and a lumbar puncture showed elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein [0.67 g/L; normal range (NR) 0.15-0.45 g/L], suggesting resolving viral meningitis. Routine thyroid function tests were abnormal (free thyroxine 10.6 pmol/L, NR 9-22.5 pmol/L; thyroid-stimulating hormone 0.16 mU/L, NR 0.35-5 mU/L). In the absence of evident thyroid therapy, the laboratory policy required an urgent cortisol assay to be added; this was very abnormal (42 nmol/L), suggesting hypopituitarism. Later analysis showed that concentrations of gonadotrophins and adrenocorticotrophin were low. An urgent pituitary magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed an unsuspected pituitary tumour with recent haemorrhage (pituitary apoplexy). The patient was given intravenous hydrocortisone and then stabilized on oral hydrocortisone, thyroxine and mesterolone. He made a full recovery and the hypoglycaemia resolved. The normal brain CT scan was falsely reassuring and the CSF protein was not due to viral meningitis but to haemorrhage into the pituitary tumour. If laboratory policy had not required the urgent cortisol assay be added, the diagnosis of hypopituitarism would have been delayed or even missed altogether. This could have led to the death of the patient.
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keywords = death
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