Background: Intentional massive sodium chloride ingestions are rare occurrences and are often fatal.
Objectives: There are a variety of treatment recommendations for hypernatremia, ranging from dialysis to varying rates of correction. We report a case of acute severe hypernatremia corrected with rapid free-water infusions that, to our knowledge, has not been previously reported.
Case report: A 19-year-old man presented to the Emergency Department in a comatose state with seizure-like activity 2 hours after ingesting a quart of soy sauce. He was administered 6 L of free water over 30 min and survived neurologically intact without clinical sequelae. Corrected for hyperglycemia, the patient's peak serum sodium was 196 mmol/L, which, to our knowledge, is the highest documented level in an adult patient to survive an acute sodium ingestion without neurologic deficits.
Conclusion: Emergency physicians should consider rapidly lowering serum sodium with hypotonic intravenous fluids as a potential management strategy for acute severe hypernatremia secondary to massive salt ingestion.
Keywords: acute hypernatremia; hypotonic fluids; resuscitation; sodium chloride.
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