[Dyspnea, hypoxia and a confusional state--a post-recovery diagnosis].

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a case of a 48 year old female, with a medical history significant for paraplegia due to a cervical cord injury and a history of transitional cell carcinoma, which necessitated a urinary bladder ileal reconstruction. The patient was hospitalized due to an acute confusional state, severe respiratory distress and hemolytic anemia. One day prior to hospitalization, she was involved in a minor motor vehicle accident, yet she and her family denied any injuries due to the accident and the patient did not complain of pain. During the course of her hospitalization the patient was febrile, yet we did not find any evidence of an infectious cause for her symptoms. Notably, lumbar puncture and MRI scan were relatively contraindicated, hence a CNS infection was not completely ruled out. We also thoroughly investigated her respiratory symptoms, but could not reach a conclusive diagnosis. Nevertheless, after approximately 14 days of diagnostic efforts, empirical antibiotic treatment and supportive care, all clinical and laboratory abnormalities had resolved. The patient was discharged with a presumed diagnosis of a poorly understood infectious process. However, not long after, she returned to the emergency department complaining of a red, painful, swollen right knee. Imaging studies demonstrated a right supracondylar as well as a tibial plateau fracture. Consequently, a post-recovery diagnosis of fat emboli syndrome was made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-78, 127
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


Dive into the research topics of '[Dyspnea, hypoxia and a confusional state--a post-recovery diagnosis].'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this