Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Body packing: from seizures to laparotomy

Joanna M Janczak, Ulrich Beutner & Karin Hasler

abstract Body packing is a common method for illegal drug trafficking. Complications associated with body packing can be severe and even lead to rapid death. Thus, a timely diagnosis is warranted. As most body packers initially do not show any symptoms, making a correct diagnosis can be rather challenging. We describe a case of a 41-year-old male, who was admitted with an epileptic seizure and who turned out to be a cocaine intoxicated body packer. Due to neurological and cardiovascular deterioration an emergency surgery was performed. Four bags of cocaine could be removed. We discuss the current management regimen in symptomatic and asymptomatic body packers and highlight pearls and pitfalls with diagnosis and treatment.
citation Janczak J M, Beutner U, Hasler K. Body packing: from seizures to laparotomy. Case Rep Emerg Med 2015; 2015:208047.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 26-03-2015
journal title Case Rep Emerg Med (2015)
ISSN print 2090-648X
pages 208047
PubMed 25883813
DOI 10.1155/2015/208047