Lessons to be learned: a case study approach. 'Spontaneous' intraperitoneal bladder rupture in a psychiatric patient--with diagnostic difficulties.

The case described here is that of a 34-year-old woman with a psychiatric disorder who was referred to the local surgical receiving unit with abdominal pain and vomiting. She remained well and fully mobile but refused blood investigations until the day following admission. At that time the tests showed a picture of acute renal failure. With the development of increasing abdominal tenderness and pyrexia she was persuaded to have a laparotomy which demonstrated a small tear at the dome of the bladder. Her deranged blood biochemistry returned to normal within 11 h following surgery. The important points demonstrated in this case study are the special clinical difficulties encountered in psychiatric patients, which may consequently lead to delay in diagnosis. This delay allowed significant peritoneal reabsorption of urea and creatinine, which masqueraded as 'acute renal failure' on biochemical testing. The case also highlights the use of procyclidine, commonly used in patients with psychiatric disorders; urinary retention is a recognised side effect of this drug--and it is possible that such retention together with a minor and hence easily overlooked episode of trauma, may have contributed to the patient's condition.
AuthorsR S Jutley, R G Mason
JournalThe journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (J R Soc Promot Health) Vol. 121 Issue 2 Pg. 125-7 (Jun 2001) ISSN: 1466-4240 [Print] England
PMID11467205 (Publication Type: Case Reports, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Procyclidine
  • Adult
  • Antiparkinson Agents (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders (drug therapy)
  • Procyclidine (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Rupture, Spontaneous (blood, diagnosis, surgery)
  • Scotland
  • State Medicine
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Bladder (pathology, surgery)
  • Urinary Retention (chemically induced)

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