ResearchPad - reminder-of-important-clinical-lesson https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Tension pneumothorax in a patient with COVID-19]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12524 A 36-year-old man was brought to the emergency department with suspected COVID-19, following a 3-week history of cough, fevers and shortness of breath, worsening suddenly in the preceding 4 hours. On presentation he was hypoxaemic, with an SpO2 of 88% on 15 L/min oxygen, tachycardic and had no audible breath sounds on auscultation of the left hemithorax. Local guidelines recommended that the patient should be initiated on continuous positive airway pressure while investigations were awaited, however given the examination findings an emergency portable chest radiograph was performed. The chest radiograph demonstrated a left-sided tension pneumothorax. This was treated with emergency needle decompression, with good effect, followed by chest drain insertion. A repeat chest radiograph demonstrated lung re-expansion, and the patient was admitted to a COVID-19 specific ward for further observation. This case demonstrates tension pneumothorax as a possible complication of suspected COVID-19 and emphasises the importance of thorough history-taking and clinical examination.

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<![CDATA[Interrupting the trajectory of frailty in dementia with Lewy bodies with anabolic exercise, dietary intervention and deprescribing of hazardous medications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9077 An 87-year-old man with dementia with Lewy bodies, living in residential aged care, exhibited rapid functional decline and weight loss associated with injurious falls over 9 months. Independent clinicians (geriatrician and exercise physiologist) assessed him during an extended wait-list period prior to his commencement of a pilot exercise trial. The highly significant role of treatable factors including polypharmacy, sarcopenia and malnutrition as contributors to frailty and rapid functional decline in this patient are described. The results of a targeted intervention of deprescribing, robust exercise and increased caloric intake on his physical and neuropsychological health status are presented. This case highlights the need to aggressively identify and robustly treat reversible contributors to frailty, irrespective of advanced age, progressive ‘untreatable’ neurodegenerative disease and rapidly deteriorating health in such individuals. Frailty is not a contraindication to robust exercise; it is, in fact, one of the most important reasons to prescribe it.

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<![CDATA[Spontaneous spinal subdural haematoma in a patient on apixaban]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6db1fed5eed0c48450e834

A 68-year-old man on apixaban presented to the emergency department with back pain following a long-haul flight. Investigations for pulmonary embolus and aortic dissection were negative and he was discharged with analgesia for mechanical back pain. He presented three more times with worsening back pain, third time with urinary retention and the fourth time with lower limb weakness and loss of coordination. He was found to have a spinal subdural haematoma on MRI and transferred to a tertiary centre, where he was managed conservatively and discharged for rehabilitation with good neurological recovery.

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<![CDATA[Repair of displaced thyroid cartilage fracture using miniplate osteosynthesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c394519d5eed0c484a30825

Acute laryngeal trauma is estimated to occur in approximately one patient per 14 500 to 42 500 emergency room admissions. If the larynx is injured, its vital functions are affected and can be threatened in case of severe injury. Soft cartilage offers no protective advantage, which is the reason why young as well as older individuals are at risk of thyroid cartilage fracture. Experimentation on cadaver larynx has demonstrated that virtually all laryngeal fractures are longitudinally oriented. Furthermore, muscular pull can contribute to a misalignment of the fractures. As stated by Bent and Porubsky, a fracture is considered severely rather than moderately displaced, if it is freely mobile on physical examination, has more than two fracture lines or demonstrates a displacement greater than the width of the thyroid cartilage on CT imaging. We present two cases of severely displaced thyroid cartilage fracture treated in our department by open reduction and internal fixation using miniplates. Functional and radiological outcomes were excellent.

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<![CDATA[Glycosylated haemoglobin: a false sense of security]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c394520d5eed0c484a30a00

We report the unusual case of a patient found to have a low glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) despite having recently been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 2. The patient, who was not anaemic, with no symptoms or family history of haematological conditions, was subsequently found to have an elevated reticulocyte count, inferring increased red cell turnover as the culprit for the discordant HbA1c result. A diagnosis of hereditary spherocytosis was made based on characteristic peripheral blood film appearances and confirmed by eosin-5-maleimide binding test. Exposure of an undiagnosed haemolytic anaemia by virtue of a low HbA1c is uncommon. However, conditions that distort HbA1c measurements are not infrequent. This case should serve to remind clinicians of the limitations of HbA1c in specified situations, and to remain vigilant when interpreting results.

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<![CDATA[Lingual liability: macroglossia and dyspnoea as the harbinger of systemic AL (light-chain) cardiac amyloidosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3947efd5eed0c484a3eb22

A 58-year-old man presented with a chief complaint of tongue indentations and discomfort. Otolaryngology treated him for oral thrush with counselling to avoid tongue biting. In addition, the patient reported dyspnoea described as a decrease in tolerance of his physical activities. Due to continued increase in tongue size and worsening dyspnoea, he underwent a tissue biopsy with findings consistent with amyloidosis. Further evaluation with a bone marrow biopsy revealed underlying multiple myeloma. Echocardiography revealed abnormal ventricular wall thickness, with a reduced left ventricular chamber size, dilated atria and Doppler findings with restrictive filling patterns indicative of cardiac amyloidosis. The patient was initiated on chemotherapy for his multiple myeloma and supportive therapy for his cardiac amyloidosis. Light-chain amyloidosis (AL) is a systemic disease characterised by irreversible deposition of amyloid in tissues throughout the body; when there is cardiac involvement, it can result in heart failure with a poor prognosis. Early diagnosis of cardiac amyloidosis can lead to prolonged survival.

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