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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Double Whammy

We were toned out for an altered person. When we arrived on scene we were met by the patient's wife. She explained that her husband, who is 67, had been very ill and that he was in need of both liver and kidney transplants. Walking into the bedroom I found that my patient was alert enough to look at me when I entered the room but that was about all. He kept repeating in Spanish, "Me voy. Me voy." I'm going. I'm going. Where he was headed, I don't know (if he meant anywhere but the hospital.) The patient's wife informed us that he had just been released from the hospital for hyperammonemia (high ammonia levels in his blood) which left him in this exact condition.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/76/Symptoms_of_hyperammonemia.svg/652px-Symptoms_of_hyperammonemia.svg.png
We did a complete medical exam and could find no other reason for his altered state of consciousness. We placed him on oxygen, started an IV and sent him to the hospital. Without a transplant soon the outcome of this patient does not look to good.
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