An Almost Deadly Grape

When I used to work on the pediatric general medicine ward at the hospital, one patient made a real impression on me. He was a quadriplegic, well known to the unit.

My first encounter with him was during his admission for aspiration pneumonia. When reviewing his history, I realized he was previously a healthy kid but one day swallowed a grape that ended up stuck in his throat. It caused severe ischemia to the brain, resulting in permanent brain damage, left him paralyzed and many other complications.

It wasn’t the high dose gentamicin; it wasn’t the drowning in the lake; it wasn’t the high fever that didn’t get resolve in time.

It was just a grape, an innocent grape that turned out to be quite deadly… almost.

So everything in life can be deceptive. Something may seem harmless may become the most dangerous thing. Things we spend a lot of time developing strategies to prevent harm, resources to educate everyone may not be the source of the sorrow.

It could just be the mundane thing glaring at you everyday.




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My name is Cynthia Leung and I am a practicing pharmacist in Kingston Ontario, Canada. This blog is for me to share my ideas, opinions and perspectives on how medications are used in our health care system. Note that these posts are my own opinions and do not represent the opinions of my current or former employers and / or organizations that I may belong to. Any possible case scenarios described in my posts would be modified to maintain patient confidentiality. This blog is not a platform for professional advise for patients or health care providers and the content is not meant to support any clinical decisions or replace professional opinions. Also the images are either taken or created by the author, or adapted with permission. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts!

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