A Veteran and His Dog
Erin Brewer, Erika Rost, Gigi Davidson, Kelly L. Scolaro, Rebecca Cozart, Gene Hobbs, Carol Durham, Benny Joyner
Worldwide, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the leading cause of toxicological deaths in humans, accounting for 20,000 emergency room visits and 400 deaths every year.1,2 CO poisoning outbreaks are linked to gas leaks and usage of alternative sources of heat or power such as charcoal burners and gasoline powered generators. Indoor usage of these energy sources puts humans and animals at risk for poisoning from the colorless, odorless gas. In humans, symptoms of CO poisoning are non-specific and are usually described as "flu-like" which can make diagnosis, especially in the winter, difficult. In dogs symptoms of CO poisoning can present as excessive sleepiness or lethargy, nausea, vomiting, cough, and uncoordinated movements/gait.When CO levels become too high both humans and dogs can lapse into coma then death.
Our proposal is a role-play scenario using a standardized patient and a dog . The patient, a 50-year-old veteran, Robert Santiago, uses a service dog, Siri, for PTSD. Mr. Santiago has not been able to pay his electric bill and has been using a charcoal grill on his screened porch. Mr. Santiago presents to the "VA team" (medical, nursing, pharmacy, veterinary students) for a follow-up on his PTSD/depression and to refill his anti-depressant, sertraline. He complains to the team about being tired and nauseous for a few weeks. In the course of the visit Mr. Santiago mentions that Siri has been sleeping a lot and is not eating well. He is worried she is depressed and asks the team for help.