The patient was a 6 – month – old male who presented with a 3 – day history of increasing hypotonia and a 1 – day history of dehydration
The patient was a 6 – month – old male who presented with a 3 – day history of increasing hypotonia and a 1 – day history of dehydration. Three days prior to admission the mother had noticed decreased suck while breast – feeding. The next day it took him 1 hour to take his normal amount of breast milk. He normally took only 15 minutes. During the evening 2 days prior to admission, the parents noticed that the infant had generalized weakness with decreased movement and difficulty sitting up. That evening the child would not breast – feed. The morning prior to admission the parents noted that the infant was increasingly floppy and took only 1 oz of breast milk (versus his usual 4 1/2 oz.) and 1 oz. of juice. He had trouble with gurgling in the back of his throat, very poor head control, and increased floppiness. They took him to a local physician, who noted severe hypotonia and dehydration. The parents were told to take their son to the local emergency room. On review of systems, it was noted that the child began to be constipated 4 weeks previously and had had only two small stools over the last 6 days. His diet consisted of breast milk, occasional sweet potatoes, and rice cereal. Abnormal findings on physical examination consisted of generalized hypotonia with head lag. Cerebrospinal fluid findings were within normal limits. The patient was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. Because of increasing respiratory difficulty, he was intubated. He remained on the ventilator for 6 days, was extubated, and was discharged home 11 days after admission. A stool specimen obtained at admission was positive in a mouse lethality test.
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