Scurvy identified in the emergency department: a case report

J Emerg Med. 2001 Oct;21(3):235-7. doi: 10.1016/s0736-4679(01)00377-8.


Scurvy, caused by a lack of Vitamin C in the diet, is thought to occur only sporadically in developed countries. The signs and symptoms are diverse but generally follow a predictable progression most striking for their hemorrhagic component, particularly of the skin, gums, and joints. We report a case of scurvy in an elderly, alcoholic woman. The diagnosis was contemplated based on dermatologic findings and a dietary history. All symptoms resolved within 10 days of oral ascorbic acid supplementation. Patients most at risk for developing scurvy include food faddists, the isolated elderly, and the mentally ill.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Scurvy / diagnosis*
  • Scurvy / therapy