Make the most of your elective by writing a case report
Two medical students got food poisoning from eating fish they had caught while on elective in the Cook Islands and wrote it up as a case report
- By: Laura Glenny
Two British medical students contracted ciguatera poisoning while on elective in the Cook Islands. Thirty six hours after eating two reef fish (pictured) they developed paraesthesia of the mouth, hands, and feet; myalgia; pruritis; and cold allodynia. They survived and wrote it up as a medical case report, which was published in BMJ Case Reports. We interviewed one of the authors about their experience.
We spent our elective in Rarotonga Hospital, in the Cook Islands. Fewer than 10 consultants worked at the hospital and there were no junior doctors—except when elective students arrived each summer. Healthcare provision is basic and any complex cases are flown to New Zealand. The population of the Cook Islands is one of the most obese in the world. Most of the adult patients that we saw weighed more than 100 kg. The common diseases in the Cook Islands reflected this, with most inpatients being treated