NY University Hospital like all major medical centers had a dedicated hospitalist staff specializing in acute care modalities. The emergency room, the coronary care unit, the pediatric ICU and neurologic ICU had such 24-hour in-house physician specialists. Dr. Pluto Blum had become Lisa Feldman’s primary ICU physician by default–he was the senior ICU hospitalist for the daytime shift.
Blum reviewed the ICU vital sign and laboratory data flow sheets with the attendant nurse. “We still don’t have causality for her being unconscious. Even the x-ray survey shows no broken bones or skull fractures. The EEG is normal. Has she had any seizures?”
The nurse replied negative to all Blum’s queries.
Blum looked over the ER doctor’s admission notes and the first ICU hospitalist on the scene last night. “Do we have her past medical history from her home of record yet?”
The nurse again came back with nothing contributory.
“What about next of kin or friends in the area?”
“She did go out with a colleague last night but he took ill and his doctor affirmed lack of any information beyond having dinner with the patient.”
“What kind of illness? I wonder if it was food related and we’re missing something here.”
The nurse frowned. “I doubt it. Her dinner companion had a malaria attack.”
Blum’s eyes widened. “What? Malaria, here in New York!”
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