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An unusual cause of severe metabolic acidosis

Mark A Boyd and Stephen Hedger
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (3): 158-159.
Published online: 5 February 2007

To the Editor: We read with interest the “Diagnostic Dilemma” by Peter et al.1 The case raises interesting management issues. The first is initiation of antibiotics. Despite 1 week of fever, rigors, haematuria and loin pain, we are informed that the patient was in no distress at initial assessment. In this situation there is, despite the anxieties of resident staff, no urgent need to administer antibiotics; hospitals are controlled, monitored environments in which observation, review and investigation can be undertaken, within reason, if a diagnosis is not immediately made. The second issue is antibiotic selection. The provisional diagnosis was a urinary tract infection, and ceftriaxone and gentamicin were administered. The justification for the use of two agents with a similar spectrum of antimicrobial activity is not given.2 Likewise, no justification is given for the use of a potent nephrotoxin in the presence of moderately severe acute renal failure.

  • Mark A Boyd
  • Stephen Hedger

  • Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA.

Correspondence: mark.boyd@fmc.sa.gov.au

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