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Case of the Month - June 2016

“Just a sore glans in the throat”…

Albie de Frey WORLDWIDE TRAVEL MEDICAL CONSULTANTS and the School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand

A travel health advisor to a large South African construction company that has an operation in Zambia, receives an email report on the 2nd February from the risk manager regarding a 60-year old white male South African mine worker who was admitted to a mine hospital in the Copper belt in Zambia on 1 February 2016. He states that the patient was complaining of “…a swollen tongue and the glans [sic] in his throat…” and “…difficulty in speaking and eating”. The patient had a raised blood pressure on admission and was placed on treatment for hypertension.

The e-mail continues: “The doctor told him that hehas a nerve spasm in his neck / throat area that causes this condition and he was given medication to combat this. This morning his bp [sic] was 160/80. He feel much better and is also not talking in a slurred way”

The case is reported as a “Medical Incident”, not an emergency and a written medical report is promised, “…as soon as I receive it…”

Question 1: What is the most critical question to be answered first?

Continue to Answer 1