NC man's runny nose turns out to be leaking brain fluid

Desiree Burns
November 17, 2018

A North Carolina man said he ruined Thanksgiving for his family previous year when fluid reportedly seeped out of his nose and into the holiday dinner.

Phillpotts, who had been dealing with the runny nose on and off for five years and thought it was allergies, made an appointment at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY in February and discovered it was actually a cerebral fluid leak.

But it was only after Philpotts began to suffer uncontrollable coughing fits in February this year that Dr Alfred Iloreta at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY correctly disagnosed a cerebro spinal fluid leak. "You could be anywhere". The North Carolina man was plagued by runny noses-while traveling, eating, in mid-conversation-and figured he just had bad allergies, although some doctors had diagnosed bronchitis and pneumonia. He went to NY to see Dr. Alfred Iloreta at Mount Sinai after a bad coughing episode in February, ABC 11 reported. Dr. Alfred Iloreta determined that Phillpotts had actually been leaking cerebrospinal fluid. "So infection can transmit, or bacteria can transmit, from the nose into the brain, resulting in meningitis".

CSF leaks affect at least 5 in 100,000 people every year, according to the CSF Leak Association.

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A minimally invasive skull surgery fixed the issue.

Phillpotts was overjoyed. "You ever been so congested you can't breathe, and all of a sudden you can breathe again?" he asked. "You know what a relief that was?"

Philpotts was successfully cured by a surgical procedure which saw a flap of tissue harvested from his body used to stop the leak. The leakage typically occurs when a patient tilts the head or strains.

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