Rhabdomyolysis: a case-based critical reflection on its causes and diagnosis
evidence and practice    

Rhabdomyolysis: a case-based critical reflection on its causes and diagnosis

Clare O’Carroll Trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner, Emergency Department, Heartlands Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, England
Rob Fenwick Lead Advanced Clinical Practitioner, Emergency Department, Heartlands Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the traumatic and non-traumatic causes of rhabdomyolysis

  • To learn about the potential causes and the signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis

  • To gain awareness of the laboratory and point-of-care tests required to diagnose rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis is a rare and complex condition that involves injury of the skeletal muscle fibres, resulting in the release of substances such as creatine kinase and myoglobin. It is associated with acute kidney injury and mortality.

This article describes the case of a 40-year-old man who presented to the emergency department after an overdose of tramadol hydrochloride. It uses critical reflection to explore traumatic and non-traumatic causes of rhabdomyolysis and reviews the literature relating to the diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis through laboratory and point-of-care testing. To ensure the timely identification of patients at risk of deterioration, emergency nurses need to be aware of the potential causes and the clinical signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2020.e2004

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

@robfenwick

Correspondence

rob.fenwick@me.com

Conflict of interest

None declared

O’Carroll C, Fenwick R (2020) Rhabdomyolysis: a case-based critical reflection on its causes and diagnosis. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2020.e2004

Published online: 24 March 2020

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