THE PROBLEM: A 22 year-old man vacations in the tropics, and falls sick while on the plane coming back to the States. Above is the X-ray that shows what happened. Can you decipher it, and diagnose the problem?
DIAGNOSIS: The man was a "Mule" for heroin smugglers. He had several condoms filled with heroin in his stomach, large intestine and colon. One of them burst spilling a potentially lethal amount of the drug into his system.
I have to confess that I don't see any of that in the X-ray. I guess you have to have a trained eye.
DIAGNOSIS: The X-ray shows "miliary infiltrates" in both lungs, which I assume means fungus tendrils. About 5% of workers who clean up bat and bird droppings in a confined space get this problem.
DIAGNOSIS: Shingles. It's an intensely painful viral condition which you're vulnerable to if you had chicken pox when you were a kid. Usually it lasts only a few weeks, but it can also last a long time and cause blindness or paralysis. It's very important to get fast treatment.
DIAGNOSIS: a ruptured spleen. The abdominal organs most affected by traumatic injury to the side are the spleen and the liver. Even a small injury to the spleen can turn into something serious and cause a lot of internal bleeding.
The kid's dad was smart to take him to the emergency ward right after the injury. Time is of the essence in cases like this.
Interesting, huh? here's the site address: