Well, this is just horrifying


A Boston Hospital did some hard diagnostic work to help one of their patients who came in speaking “gibberish” and acting odd according to foxnews.com.  He had several seizures in the ER and left the doctors puzzled after several tests.  He had no history of drug or alcohol abuse. The doctors sedated the man and intubated him.  They then did several tests including a chest X-ray, blood work, and urinalysis.  The tests they ran ruled out several of the most common ailments that they thought could be affecting the man.  They ruled out hyponatremia, renal dysfunction, and liver dysfunction.  There was an odd result that revealed “leukocytosis and lactic acidosis” according to foxnews.com.


Always Get the Patient’s History


One of the most important things a new doctor learns is to always get an accurate patient history.  The man that presented with these issues was a Boston resident for 20 years but had emigrated from Guatemala when he was young.  This led the doctors to search for possible parasitic diseases.  After being admitted to the neurosciences intensive care unit, they found tapeworms in the man’s brain.  Doctors suspect the man had been living with the tapeworms in his brain FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS!


How to Avoid This Situation


I want this NEVER to happen to me.  I have nightmares about this scenario.  The CDC says that eating undercooked beef can leave you open to being host to tapeworms.  Also, exposure to livestock and travel to regions where parasites are common is a risk.  Let’s just say I am asking for all my burgers to be well cooked from now on.  Kudos to the doctors in Boston that figured this puzzle out.  After treatment, the man was released and hopefully never has to experience that horror again.



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