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Hypophosphataemia: an important cause of collapse


We present a case of a 44-year-old man, civil servant, who presented to the emergency department (ED) following an episode of collapse. He was usually fit and well and while at work he had developed a headache with pins and needles over his face and subsequently collapsed. On arrival to ED, he had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of 4/15. There was no history of note apart from being prescribed citalopram for depression. Laboratory investigations revealed severe hypophosphataemia (phosphate 0.19 mmol/L) and no other electrolyte abnormality. He was commenced on intravenous phosphate and his GCS improved to 15 within 4 hours. Further investigations revealed no cause for his severe hypophosphataemia and repeat bloods in clinic follow-up showed a normal phosphate level.

  • metabolic disorders
  • fluid electrolyte and acid-base disturbances

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