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You are assessing a 52-year-old type I diabetic man with progressive weakness of the upper and lower extremities over the course of the last 7 days after noticing some diminished sensation in his legs. He recently had a flu-like illness, but currently has no cough. Vitals include: HR 102, RR 24, BP 100/72, spO2 98%, Temp 36.7 degrees Celsius. Bedside capillary glucose is 19 mmol/L. He appears tachypneic and has difficulty lifting his head off the stretcher. Lung exam reveals no crackles or wheeze on auscultation. Anion gap is normal. Which of the following statements is TRUE?