The Toxicologist Mindset series features real-life cases from the San Francisco Division of the California Poison Control System.
Case: A previously healthy 49-year-old woman presented to the emergency department (ED) with acute onset of confusion. Family members noticed her to have unsteady gait and she complained of blurry vision and difficulty urinating. She denied the use of any drugs or alcohol and took no medications. In the ED, her vital signs were: T 98.7, BP 95/59, P 130, RR 16, and O2 sat 100% on room air. Her pupils were 7 mm and reactive and her skin was dry. Bowel sounds were present. She had no focal neurological findings, but appeared “very confused” and “frightened.”
Serum electrolytes, CBC, and liver function tests were all unremarkable. She had a negative urine drug screen and alcohol level. The ECG demonstrated sinus tachycardia with normal intervals, and the brain CT was normal.
What are your next thought processes?