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Papers of the Week

2020 Nov 27




Cocaine Body Packing: A New Record.


Tanna R, Bostina R, Lloyd G, Patel NM, Bastianpillai J
Cureus. 2020 Nov 27; 12(11):e11728.
PMID: 33269176.


We present a case of a 39-year-old man who was brought in by ambulance to the ED after ingesting 103 packets of cocaine prior to return to the United Kingdom (UK) from Holland. He presented with a persistent sinus tachycardia and mild abdominal pain but no evidence of peritonitis on examination. Contrast-enhanced CT showed widespread distribution of packets from the stomach to the sigmoid colon. He was taken to theater for emergency laparotomy and retrieval of the packets, which was done successfully without the need of any bowel resection. He was then discharged to police custody following a 10-day admission. This is the highest number of cocaine packets reported in the UK literature. This case report discusses the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in safely managing body packers who also present with signs of cocaine toxicity.