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The patient was rushed into the room, listless, intermittently trying to lift his head only to fall back down. Soon, he became unresponsive and cold. I placed the ultrasound probe on his chest and saw a barely contracting heart—heart failure. A massive clot filled the left atrium. The team became silent, then quickly regained its composure, and the supervising doctor began disbursing orders in rapid fire. We stabilized the patient, though he remained in serious condition, and then we shifted to research mode. We emailed doctors across the country: “Have you seen acute dilated cardiomyopathy before in similar patients? He is a 3-year-old meerkat.”
Evrony GD. A Wild Rotation. JAMA. 2016;316(7):713–714. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4994
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