A young woman with polydipsia died suddenly while receiving a normal saline drip in a hospital for psychiatric care. Slight symptoms due to water intoxication, more specifically, nausea, vomiting, and anorexia, appeared and her serum sodium and potassium measured 106 and 1.7 mEq/l, respectively. General convulsions are thought to be the most common result of water intoxication in emergency cases, however, when she was found with circulatory collapse, no severe neurological symptoms were present. The cause of her collapse did not seem to be due to hyponatremia but to hypopotassemia. Although epinephrine is contraindicated with some psychiatric drugs, the doctor used it to raise blood pressure in treating circulatory collapse. It is possible that epinephrine induced cardiac arrest.
- Forensic medicine
- Water intoxication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects