May 2017 Critical Care Case of the Month
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 8:00AM
Rick Robbins, M.D. in Hispanic, alcohol, diaphragm, mechanical ventilation, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, ptosis, respiratory failure, seizure, tracheostomy, withdrawal

Sapna Bhatia, MD

David Ling, DO

Michel Boivin, MD


Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Albuquerque, NM USA


History of Present Illness

A 54-year-old Hispanic male who was incarcerated 3 days prior to hospital admission was brought into the emergency room from prison for alcohol related withdrawal seizures.

Physical Examination

Upon arrival to the ER, the patient was noted to be hypoxic with copious thick secretions in his mouth. He was intubated for airway protection, started on propofol and fentanyl drips as well as intravenous thiamine and folic acid.


A chest radiograph was performed (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Portable anterior-posterior (AP) radiograph of the chest.

Which of the following are true regarding management of this patient?

  1. Phenytoin should be administered for prevention of seizures
  2. Prophylactic antibiotics for aspiration pneumonia should be administered
  3. Thiamine and folic acid should be administered
  4. 1 and 3
  5. All of the above

Cite as: Bhatia S, Ling D, Boivin M. May 2017 critical care case of the month. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2017;14(5):192-8. doi: PDF

Article originally appeared on SOUTHWEST JOURNAL of PULMONARY & CRITICAL CARE (
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