A 2-year-old child is brought to the ED on a cold December evening by frantic parents one hour after swallowing several mistletoe berries at home. The parents had placed the mistletoe plant over the door entryway secured by a piece of scotch tape. During a large family holiday gathering, the mistletoe fell to the floor causing the curious toddler to ingest several of the scattered berries.
The patient is a 51-year-old male who presents to the ED with a
complaint of severe abdominal pain and cramping of 8 hours duration
associated with diaphoresis, low-grade fevers, and anorexia. According
to the patient, his symptoms began approximately 1 hour after suffering a
scrotal bite from “some insect” while trying on a pair of boxer shorts
his wife had just given him for Valentine’s Day.
The patient is a 27-year-old stock exchange worker who presents to the
ED with a complaint of anxiety, chest pain, sweating, palpitations and a
feeling of “paranoia and impending doom” following the recreational
ingestion of “bath salts” two hours prior at a company party.
Indigenous to Mexico and Central America, the red green poinsettia (or
Christmas Star), was first introduced to the US in the 1800s. The
plant’s reputation for toxicity stemmed from a single unconfirmed case
fatality of a 2-year-old child in the early 1900s.
The patient is a 46-year-old male who presents to the ED at night with
agitation and delusional episodes lasting several hours. During these
episodes, he has sensations of hair growth on his face, trunk, and arms.
Occasionally, he becomes convinced that the hair growth is real. He thinks
these changes will make him appear to be a wolf, and avoids seeing his
face or body whenever possible.
The patient is a 21-year-old male who presents to your ED with vomiting
and dizziness after drinking homemade tea made with leaves and flowers
from the plant pictured.
A 22-year-old male is brought to a stadium first aid station after being found running around naked at a Grateful Dead concert. He was noted to be agitated, paranoid, and visually hallucinating requiring full leather restraints. Friends of the patient claimed he ingested several “magic shrooms and blotter acid” prior to the concert.
During the 1960s why were amphetamines or “Speed” also referred to as “Crank”?
Answer: Drug dealers and users belonging to the group Hell’s Angels would smuggle and conceal amphetamines in the crankshafts of their motorcycles during transport when riding cross country.
Trivia question #1: What is the latest mode of transportation for the illegal smuggling of large amounts of cocaine?
Answer: Privately-owned submarines. Five tons of cocaine worth over 350 million dollars was discovered in a submarine off the Guatemala coast in 2008.