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Fulminant methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus infection: from pinprick to multiorgan failure
  1. Aunie Danyalian1,
  2. Ivett Padron1,
  3. Patricia Almeida2 and
  4. Mauricio Danckers2
  1. 1Internal Medicine, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, Aventura, Florida, USA
  2. 2Intensive Care Unit, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, Aventura, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aunie Danyalian; auniem1589{at}


A woman in her 60s with diabetes presented to our institution with altered mental status. Preceding symptoms included headaches, nausea and vomiting. One month prior to presentation, she cut her left thumb and developed a pustule, which she occasionally manipulated with a non-sterile needle. On arrival, the patient was in shock, with a Glasgow Coma Scale of 3, requiring emergent intubation and intensive care unit admission. Her initial imaging studies revealed a large pericardial effusion and cerebral subcortical hypodensities. She suffered from a cardiopulmonary arrest with return of spontaneous circulation, with bedside echocardiogram revealing cardiac tamponade. She underwent emergent pericardiocentesis which revealed purulent drainage. Blood, pericardial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, sputum and urine cultures returned positive for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. The hospital course was further complicated by refractory septic shock and fulminant multiorgan failure, ultimately leading to her demise.

  • infectious diseases
  • adult intensive care
  • pericardial disease
  • infections
  • meningitis

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  • Contributors AD and PA wrote and revised the manuscript for intellectual content. IP revised the manuscript for intellectual content and reviewed and incorporated the images used in this manuscript. MD revised and supervised the case and manuscript content. AD is the article guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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