Question 7.1

Created on Mon, 05/11/2015 - 01:48
Last updated on Mon, 04/25/2016 - 04:51
Pass rate: 66%
Highest mark: 9.5

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A 50-year-old patient was admitted to the ICU for airway observation following a difficult parathyroidectomy. No immediate airway problems were evident. About 24 hours later, the patient was noted to be in fast atrial fibrillation, and complained of difficulty in breathing with generalised aches and pains.

a) What is the likely explanation for the patient's symptoms?

b) List your specific management for this problem.

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College Answer

a) Hypocalcaemia and possibly hypomagnesaemia causing muscle cramps, possible laryngospasm.

 Ca gluconate or chloride – bolus or infusion.
 Mg supplements.
 Anti-arrhythmics for AF.