A 22-Year-Old Who Fell Asleep on a Plane and Didn’t Wake Up

Anusuya Mokashi, MD; Dhana Rekha Selvaraj, MD, MBBS; Chandrasekar Palaniswamy, MD; Ali Nawaz Khan, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Prabhakar Rajiah, MD, MBBS, FRCR


May 21, 2020

Physical Examination and Work-up

The physical examination reveals a physically fit white man who is obtunded and minimally arousable. Vital signs reveal an oral temperature of 98.7°F (37°C), pulse of 85 beats/min, blood pressure of 110/70 mm Hg, respiratory rate of 7 breaths/min, and an oxygen saturation of 98% while breathing room air. Diffuse flushing of the skin is noted, without lesions or bruising.

The patient's heart sounds are normal, without any murmurs, rubs, or gallops, and the lungs are clear to auscultation bilaterally. Examination of the head and neck is unremarkable, other than pinpoint pupils. The abdominal examination reveals normal bowel sounds without distention, tenderness to palpation, or organomegaly. Rectal examination shows normal rectal tone, heme-negative stool, and no masses.

The laboratory analysis includes a complete blood cell count (CBC) with differential, a complete metabolic panel, a coagulation profile, a fingerstick blood glucose measurement, and a urine analysis. The CBC reveals a normal white blood cell count without a left shift. The remainder of the laboratory analysis is within normal limits, with a creatinine level of 1.2 mg/dL, glucose of 90 mg/dL, prothrombin time of 12.1 seconds, and a partial thromboplastin time of 28.5 seconds.

The urinalysis is negative for bacteria and has a specific gravity of 1.010. It is noted in the patient's past medical record that he had a negative HIV test approximately 4 months ago.

A routine chest radiograph is obtained, which prompts abdominal radiography (Figure 1).

Figure 1


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