an obscure acidosis…

The Case.

64 year old male attends your ED with a complaint for 3 months of progressive weakness, however over the past 7 days he has had multiples falls secondary to his ‘legs just completely giving way’.  You note on the hospital records that he has a history of alcoholism (150-250 grams per day). After a long & drawn out discussion (think, blood from a stone) in an attempt to elaborate his history, you gain the knowledge that …

  1. he has had some chronic worsening, low back pain
  2. he has not eaten a proper meal for over a week (and no alcohol in that time either)
  3. he has lost a ‘decent amount of weight’, but cannot objectify it any further.

He has no known past medical history & takes no regular medications.

He looks crook. Pale, diaphoretic and clammy. Tachycardic (@120/min) and hypertensive (165/110 mmHg). He is afebrile however. No murmurs, chest clear. Tender hepatomegaly. No midline back pain. Normal power, sensation and reflexes to both legs (with good peripheral pulses).

Here is his venous blood gas and accompanying chemistry….

VBG01

What are your thoughts ?
Differential diagnoses ??
What are you going to do next ???

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