Chapter 22 - Clinical Corner

A patient comes into the clinic showing signs of dehydration and explains that she has had serious diarrhea for several days. The patient reports that she and some friends went out to dinner a couple of days before and ordered a hamburger cooked rare. One of her friends ordered a steak also cooked rare and the other friend had a salad. She suspects that she may have a contracted food poisoning. She says her friend who ate salad is also experiencing diarrhea, but the friend who had steak is not ill.

A. Would you consider this a consequence of food poisoning?

B. What would you tell the patient about possible causes for her problem?

C. What tests would you recommend be done to confirm your suspicions?

Your patient is dehydrated and has metabolic acidosis. She has had severe diarrhea with intermittent bouts of cramping and a feeling of fullness. Her stools are voluminous but odorless and look to be composed mainly of fluids. These symptoms began about 24 hours after she attended a party at the yacht club where she consumed a number of raw oysters that were served as appetizers. She delayed coming to the doctor because she thought that she had a simple case of food poisoning.

A. Does she have a simple case of food poisoning?

B. How does the case history help in your formulating possible explanations for her problems?