Leftover Food and a Life-Altering Experience: A Medical Case Study
In our everyday lives, many of us indulge in leftover food without a second thought, including myself. However, I have a friend who refuses to touch anything that's been sitting for too long, and he's willing to spend a small fortune on fresh meals. While most of us can happily enjoy our leftovers, a peculiar incident in the world of medicine sheds light on the potential dangers lurking in that last spoonful of reheated dinner.
The Medical Case
A 19 year old man was admitted to the hospital's emergency room with muscle pain, chills, and shortness of breath. He had previously had purplish discoloration on his face and hands which led his friends to rush him to the emergency room. On his way to the emergency room, he experienced stiff neck, progressively worsening diffuse myalgias, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, and blurry vision. It was believed that he had eaten the leftover his friend brought to the house, after which he began to feel pain, and a sign of filling full with gas after which saliva, followed by stomach contents coming out of his mouth and he started to have difficulty breathing with a pounding heart. He had a fast heart beat but normal heart rhythm, as he had tachypnea. What did he eat, and what could have happened to him?
Within half an hour, the situation took a darker turn. His breathing quickened (tachypnea), his skin turned a frightening shade of grey due to low oxygen levels (hypoxemia), and cyanosis set in. As if this wasn't enough, his blood pressure plummeted, and a rash began to spread across his body. This events didn't happen in days but in matter of minutes and hours. He was placed on mechanical ventilation but then the rash became deep and reddish with multiple lesions appearing all over his body.
The Medical Puzzle
When I was going through the case, I realized that as expected, he was rushed on broad spectrum antibiotics promptly as a precautionary measure, given the uncertainty surrounding the cause of his synptoms. Soon, his feet and hands became cold. His pupils were still functional and reacted to light but then his kidneys stopped working, and he began to suffer from thrombocytopenia (deficiency of blood platelet) which means he couldn't make blood clot and could stop bleeding.
After test from the lab, the result showed Neisseria meningitidis but doctors already suspected Miningococcemia but then these symptoms didn't show like meningitis where there is an inflammation of the meninges although he had suffered from nuchal rigidity (Stiff neck) the bacteria didn't affect the brain at all. The bacteria got into the body, and this caused the entire blood vessels to dilate preventing oxygen from getting into the organs and thrombocyte to be consumed thereby creating little blood clot in the blood vessels and preventing blood from flowing to the organs and he also suffered from Purpura Fulminans as blood wasn't getting to his body, hands and feet. He also suffered from necrosis in his finger and foot which led to the amputation of those parts as the tissues can cause more problems if it continues to migrate round his body.
The bacteria is transferred by saliva, so this means that either his friend or someone had spat unknowingly into the food. The hostpital also noticed that he only received one of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, and didn't recieve the booster vaccine, he also only recieved one dose of the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. Good news, he recovered from the acute meningococcal purpura fulminans.
This medical case serves as a stark reminder that even commonplace activities like eating leftover food can sometimes take unexpected and perilous turns. While the incident discussed here is indeed unusual, it discusses the importance of food safety and the critical role vaccinations play in safeguarding our health. So, as we leave those leftovers in the refrigerator tonight, let's also remember the significance of maintaining proper hygiene. Also, let's ensure our vaccinations are up to date.
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