Category Archives: Case Report

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or Catatonia? A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0025

Introduction: A review of the literature has shown that there are many similarities in the presentation of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) and catatonia. Attempts to reconcile the differences have been made by suggesting that NMS and catatonia may represent different presentations of the same illness or that they lie within the same spectrum of a poorly understood clinical syndrome. The described case is of a patient who presented with NMS and catatonia which was difficult to diagnose, but which responded to treatment with intravenous diazepam.
Case presentation: The case concerns a 22-year-old male admitted for pulmonary hypertension to an intensive care unit (ICU). Three days following admission, he developed a high fever that did not respond to antibiotics. The patient then developed rigidity, nocturnal agitation, decreased responsiveness, and somnolence. Without the use of bromocriptine (Novartis, Basel, Switzerland) or dantrolene (Par Pharmaceuticals, Chestnut Ridge, USA) discontinuation of neuroleptics combined with intravenous diazepam (Pfizer, NY, USA) led to a very rapid response and marked improvement in the case.
Conclusions: Early recognition and management of NMS and MC in a complex, gravely ill patient, may be accomplished in the ICU despite obfuscation of traditional signs and symptoms of the NMS and MC syndrome. Such interventions can have life-saving effects on patients in danger of fatal autonomic instability.

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Hypoxic Respiratory Failure Further Complicated During Airway Exchange Catheter Placement

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0023

Introduction: An airway exchange catheter is a hollow-lumen tube able to deliver oxygen and maintain access to a difficult endotracheal airway. This case report demonstrates an undocumented complication associated with an airway exchange catheter and jet ventilation, particularly in a patient with reduced airway diameter due to thick endotracheal secretions. Due to the frequent use of airway exchange catheters in the intensive care unit, this report highlights an adverse event of bilateral pneumothoraces that can be encountered by clinicians.
Case Presentation: This case report describes a 24-year-old female with severe adult respiratory distress syndrome and thick endotracheal secretions whose hospital course was complicated by bilateral pneumothoraces resulting from the use of an airway exchange catheter connected to jet ventilation. During the exchange, the catheter occluded the narrowed endotracheal tube to create a one-way valve that led to excessive lung inflation.
Conclusion: Airway exchange catheters used with jet ventilation in a patient with a narrowed endotracheal tube and reduced lung compliance have the potential risk of causing a pneumothorax. Clinicians should avoid temporary concomitant oxygenation via jet ventilation in patients with these findings and reserve the use of airway exchange catheters for difficult airways.

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Non-Cardiogenic Pulmonary Oedema Following the Use of Gadolinium-Based Contrast Medium: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0019

Non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema can be life threatening and requires prompt treatment. While gadolinium-based contrast is generally considered safe with a low risk of severe side effects, non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema has become increasingly recognised as a rare, but possibly life-threatening complication. We present a case of a usually well, young 23-year-old female who developed non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema with a moderate oxygenation impairment and no mucosal or cutaneous features of anaphylaxis following the administration of gadolinium-based contrast. She did not respond to treatment of anaphylaxis but made a rapid recovery following the commencement of positive pressure ventilation. Our case highlights the importance of recognising the rare complication of non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema following gadolinium-based contrast administration in order to promptly implement the appropriate treatment.

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Catastrophic Caustic Ingestion: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0017

Introduction: The majority of oral ingestion of caustic material by adults is intentional, and the aftermath varies widely with potentially fatal results. Injuries range from superficial burns of facial and oropharyngeal structures to extensive necrosis of the gastrointestinal tract. Management focuses on the identification of the ingested substance and prompt treatment and supportive care of the multiple complications stemming from the ingestion. Complications following caustic ingestion include both immediate and long term.
Case presentation: A fifty-seven-year-old man presented following intentional ingestion of drain cleaner. The patient was intubated and underwent emergent esophagogastroduodenoscopy [EGD], which revealed extensive damage to his oesophagus and stomach. He survived his initial injury but had a prolonged hospital course and ultimately died after developing tracheoesophageal and bronchooesophageal fistulas which were too extensive for surgical repair.
Conclusion: The sequelae of caustic ingestion can be minor or severe, both immediate and delayed. Despite appropriate prompt management and supportive care, patients may die as a result of the initial injury or subsequent complications.

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An Intentional Aconite Overdose: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0016

Background: Aconite is one of the most toxic known herbs, widely used for centuries as an essential Chinese medicine, but also for deliberate poisoning throughout history. Clinically indicated in herbal medicine for a range of ailments from headaches to muscle spasm, unfortunately, the narrow therapeutic window may lead to a range of toxic presentations. The mechanism of action of the pharmacologically active compounds in Aconite relate to the activation of voltage-gated sodium channels within a range of tissue including myocardial, neuronal and smooth muscle leading to persistent cellular activity.
Case presentation: We report on a rare case of a fifty-year-old male with intentional aconite overdose presenting with refractory cardiovascular instability from persistent life-threatening arrhythmias, respiratory failure, and seizure activity.
Conclusion: An overview of Aconite, its history, pharmacological effects, treatment of overdose and outcomes is presented.

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Drug Thrombus Resulting in Superior Vena Cava Syndrome: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0015

Introduction: Superior vena cava syndrome is one of the more serious complications of central venous catheter insertion. Drug interactions of administered drugs used in association with these catheters can lead to formation of precipitations and consequently thrombus formation. These interactions can be either anion-cation or acid-base based and more commonly present in clinical practice than expected.
Case presentation: The case of a 31-year old female who was admitted to an intensive care unit with an intracranial haemorrhage, is presented. Occlusion of the superior vena cava was caused by a drug-induced thrombus, formed by the precipitation and clotting of total parenteral nutrition and intravenous drugs. Given the nature of the thrombus and a recent intracranial haemorrhage, the patient was treated with a central thrombectomy supported by a heparin-free extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
Conclusion: Knowledge of drug interactions is crucial in order to heighten awareness for the dangers of concomitant drug administration, especially in combination with total parenteral nutrition in critically ill patients.

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The Use of Extracorporeal Life Support in a Patient Suffering from Venlafaxine Intoxication. A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0014

Very few reports exist on serious cardiac complications associated with intake of serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors. This paper describes and discusses the case of a patient who ingested a dose of 17.5 g venlafaxine. She developed a full serotonergic syndrome leading to multi-organ failure, including refractory cardiovascular shock, which was managed by early implantation of an extracorporeal life support (ECLS) system as a bridging strategy. This intervention was successful and resulted in full recovery of the patient.

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Spontaneous Sublingual Haematoma in a 90-year Old Patient: A Complication of Direct Oral Anticoagulants

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0010

Sublingual haematoma is a rare complication of anticoagulants and can be life-threatening. As the number of prescribed anticoagulants is increasing, the incidence of complications of these drugs will continue to increase. A report of a sublingual haematoma in an elderly patient with chronic atrial fibrillation treated with edoxban (Lixiana ©, Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH, München, Germany) is reported. A 90-year male presented at the emergency department with an obstructed upper airway due to a sublingual haematoma. The patient received tranexamic acid, prothrombin complex, and fresh frozen plasma. After fiberoptic nasal intubation, the patient was monitored in the intensive care unit. After four days, the patient was extubated, and after six days, the swelling resolved completely. Complications of anticoagulants are rare but can be life-threatening. Recognition of an endangered airway and reversing the effects of the anticoagulant are essential. Surgical evacuation of the haematoma could be considered but is not necessary.

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Guillain–Barré and Acute Transverse Myelitis Overlap Syndrome Following Obstetric Surgery

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0008

Introduction: There are rare reports of the occurrence of acute transverse myelitis and Guillain–Barré syndrome after various surgical procedures and general/epidural anaesthesia. The concomitant occurrence of these pathologies is very rare and is called Guillain–Barré and acute transverse myelitis overlap syndrome. In this article, we present the case of a second trimester pregnant patient who developed Guillain–Barré and acute transverse myelitis overlap syndrome.
Case presentation: We report the case of a 16-year-old female patient who underwent a therapeutic termination of pregnancy two weeks prior to the onset of the disease with gradual development of a motor deficit with walking and sensitivity disorders, fecal incontinence. The diagnosis was based on clinical exam, electroneurography and spinal magnetic resonance imaging. Endocrinopathies, infectious diseases, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, neoplastic diseases and vitamin deficiencies were ruled out. Our patient attended five sessions of therapeutic plasma exchange, followed by steroid treatment, intravenous immunoglobulin with minimum recovery of the motor deficit in the upper limbs, but without significant evolution of the motor deficit in the lower limbs. The patient was discharged on maintenance corticotherapy and immunosuppressive treatment with azathioprine.
Conclusions: We report a very rare association between Guillain–Barré syndrome and acute transverse myelitis triggered by a surgical intervention with general anaesthesia. The overlap of Guillain–Barré syndrome and acute transverse myelitis makes the prognosis for recovery worse, and further studies are needed to establish the first-line therapy in these cases.

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Cerebellar Haemorrhage Leading to Sudden Cardiac Arrest

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0007

Introduction: Intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) is a known, but a rare cause of out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). It results in the development of non-shockable rhythms such as asystole or pulseless electrical activity (PEA).
Case Report: A 77- years old male had an OHCA without any prodrome. An emergency medical services (EMS) team responded to an emergency call and intubated the patient at the site before transporting him to the Acute Care Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. On admission, a non-contrast computed tomography scan of the head revealed a large cerebellar haemorrhage. Non-traumatic ICH is a rare cause of OHCA. Although subarachnoid haemorrhage causing cardiac arrest has been described in the literature, cerebellar haemorrhage leading to cardiac arrest is rare. The mechanism by which ICH patients develop cardiac arrest is likely explained by a massive catecholamine surge leading to cardiac stunning.
Conclusion: A non-shockable rhythm in the setting of a sudden cardiac arrest should raise alarms for a primary non-cardiac ethology, especially a primary cerebrovascular event. The absence of brainstem reflexes increases the likelihood of an intracranial process.

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