International Journal of Clinical Practice Most Read Article 2009

The Department of Medicine’s Dr. Clifford Packer’s editorial, “Cola-induced hypokalemia: a super-sized problem” was the most-read article in International Journal of Clinical Practice for the year 2009.

“Consider this curious case: a 44-year-old ostrich farmer from the Australian outback developed sudden onset of muscle weakness after returning home from an evening of kangaroo-shooting. He had difficulty in getting out of his bath and was unable to stand while waiting for help to arrive. His respiratory status deteriorated, and he required intubation and mechanical ventilation. He was found to be profoundly hypokalaemic with a serum potassium level of 1.4 mmol/l. He had been drinking 4 l of Coca-Cola per day over the past 3 years, and drank up to 10 l to slake his thirst when he went for kangaroo-shooting at night. He was advised to curtail his cola drinking, and his potassium level normalised, his weakness resolved, and he made a full recovery”

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