Physicians at a hospital in Shanghai recently saved the life of an alcoholic with a rarely seen complication by a treatment which combines traditional Chinese and western medicine.
The alcoholic, a middle-aged man, had drunk up to one kilogram of alcohol each day for three years. When his legs and his arms became paralyzed he was immediately admitted to a nearby hospital where he was found to have hypokalemia.
Three days later, the paralysis increased and the patient developed loss of concentration and began hallucinating. He became critically ill and was transferred to the Shanghai Municipal Hospital Combining Chinese Traditional and Western Medicine.
Han Fuli, a doctor in charge, diagnosed the man as suffering from a rare form of cerebro-muscular degeneration. Han and his colleagues first put the emphasis on treating the alcoholic poisoning, and then began to treat the rare complication of the disease, by using a therapy combining traditional Chinese with western medicine.
After a month's treatment and careful nursing, the patient improved and was out of danger. He was discharged from the hospital recently.
(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2001)