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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:


Diagnostic Mistakes:


Symptoms / History:
Teenage girl with recurrent and frequent episodes of continuous symptoms of severe headache, nausea, vomiting, and occasional stomach and abdominal pain, and blurry vision, usually with no fever, for a period of nearly 5 years. Her mother and brother have some similar symptoms over the same period.

Physician's Differential Diagnosis:
"My impression is that Jane has a history of headache, chest pain and vomiting. She also has a history of being on Zantac for 2 weeks with no improvement.

The differential diagnosis includes possible (according to the physician):

  • gastritis secondary to medication
  • Helicobacter pylori disease
  • viral infection
  • duodenal ulcer disease
  • gastric ulcer disease
  • severe gastroesophageal reflux
  • malrotation
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • significant sinusitis
  • brain stem abnormality"

    Conclusion:
    A propane-fueled boiler in the girl's basement was found to be leaking very high concentrations of carbon monoxide.





    ...... last changed 10/05/00



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