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A Binge and a Breach: Cardiac Tamponade Caused by Haemophilus influenzae

      A hefty dose of alcohol could well have been the trigger for a potentially deadly infection in a young, immunocompetent woman. After consuming 500-750 mL of hard alcohol, the 30-year-old patient had multiple bouts of forceful nonbloody emesis. She then developed severe pleuritic chest pain and palpitations, prompting a visit to the emergency department. On questioning, she acknowledged shortness of breath and a nonproductive cough. A review of systems was otherwise noncontributory. She denied fevers, chills, nasal congestion, sore throat, or sick contacts. Her past medical history was remarkable for hypertension and alcohol use. She did not smoke tobacco or use illicit or recreational drugs.
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