In the Life of a Fickle Intern

August 26, 2010

Zebras Cont’d

Filed under: Daily Lowdown — dailymedicine @ 22:41

In response to ZIP’s comment:

I don’t know much about the bacteria my patient has. I’ve never heard of it before, but my resident gave me a 50 page paper on the topic (atypical mycobacterium) which I just started reading. I’ll let you know when I finish the paper!

Some other zebras on the team:

We have a patient with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and/or Erlichiosis,  both of which are tick-borne diseases that are relatively rare. They both can be fatal if undiagnosed/untreated!! Still trying to figure out which one is it.

Another patient has Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), a rare hematological disease in which your body destroys all your platelets and messes up your kidneys, brains, and blood cells. It’s a super emergency and you have to get plasmapheresis in which all your plasma is removed, treated/filtered, and then returned to your body. It’s a big deal! This is the first case my attending has ever seen. I’m glad that it was caught!

We have a lot of patients who have acute exacerbation of their chronic diseases like liver failure in a cirrhotic patient, kidney failure in chronic kidney patient, heart failure in chronic heart problems, etc.

All the patients are really interesting medically, but I feel so bad for them. I always feel so guilty being so interested and excited about getting these unique cases, but I justify it by reminding myself that I am a student who needs  to learn. That is the reason I am in school for all these years, right? Still, I wish my city was healthier for its own sake.

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