A 19-year-old primiparous woman develops toxemia in her last trimester of pregnancy and during the course of her labor is treated with magnesium sulfate. At 38 weeks’ gestation, she delivers a 2100-g (4-lb, 10-oz) infant with Apgar scores of 1 at 1 min and 5 at 5 min. Laboratory studies at 18 h of age reveal a hematocrit of 79%, platelet count of 100,000/µL, glucose 38 mg/dL, magnesium 2.5 mEq/L, and calcium 8.7 mg/dL. Soon after, the infant has a generalized convulsion. Which of the following is the most likely cause of the infant’s seizure?

a. Polycythemia

b. Hypoglycemia

c. Hypocalcemia

d. Hypermagnesemia

e. Thrombocytopenia

the answer is below…

The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE for short, is a three-part licensing examination that is required in order to receive a license to practice medicine within the United States.

The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.

This exam is designed by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether or not an individual understands and can apply the knowledge necessary to practice medicine safely and intelligently.

The USMLE is actually comprised of three different exams that are referred to as steps, which examine the individual’s knowledge of specific topics related to the field of medicine such as basic science, medical knowledge, medical skills, clinical science, and the application of all of these skills and areas of knowledge in the medical field.

All three steps of the USMLE include a series of computerized multiple-choice questions, but the format of the exam and the information covered in each multiple-choice section is different for each step of the USMLE. The USMLE Step II also has a clinical skills portion that examines an individual’s ability to work with real patients and the USMLE Step III has a computerized patient simulation portion in addition to the multiple-choice section of the exam. In order for an individual to receive a license to practice medicine, the individual must pass all three steps of the USMLE.

Medical doctors with an M.D. degree are required to pass this examination before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States of America

The correct answer is a; Polycythemia.[1]

An infant of 2100 g (4 lb, 10 oz) at 38 weeks would be considered small for gestational age (SGA), a not uncommon consequence of maternal toxemia. Pregnancy-induced hypertension can produce a decrease in uteroplacental blood flow and areas of placental infarction. This can result in fetal nutritional deprivation and intermittent fetal hypoxemia, with a decrease in glycogen storage and a relative erythrocytosis, respectively. Hence, neonatal hypoglycemia and polycythemia are common clinical findings in these infants. A blood glucose level of 30 mg/dL in a full-term infant, however, is probably normal during the first postnatal day, and an infant is very unlikely to have a convulsion as a result of a level of 38 mg. Serum calcium levels usually decline during the first 2 to 3 postnatal days, but will only be considered abnormally low in a term infant when they fall below 7.5 to 8 mg/dL. Neonatal hypermagnesemia is common in an infant whose mother has received MgSO4 therapy, but is usually asymptomatic or produces decreased muscle tone or floppiness. A persistent venous hematocrit of greater than 65% in a neonate is regarded as polycythemia and will be accompanied by an increase in blood viscosity. Manifestations of the “hyperviscosity syndrome” include tremulousness or jitteriness that can progress to seizure activity because of sludging of blood in the cerebral microcirculation or frank thrombus formation, renal vein thrombosis, necrotizing enterocolitis, and tachypnea. Simple phlebotomy, while decreasing blood volume, will also decrease systemic arterial pressure and thus increase viscosity (based on Poiseuille’s law of flow). Therapy by partial exchange transfusion with saline or lactated Ringer’s solution is preferred, and may be more likely to be useful if performed prophylactically before significant symptoms have developed, but literature looking at outcomes in these infants is lacking.