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House episode
Episode no. HOU-111
Airdate February 15, 2005
Writer(s) Lawrence Kaplow
Thomas L. Moran
Director(s) Nelson McCormick
Guest star(s) Mark Harelik
as Mr. Foster
Nicholas D'Agosto
as Keith Foster
Amanda Seyfried
as Pam
Maurice Godin
as Dr. Hourani
Final diagnosis Naphthalene poisoning
Episode chronology
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"Histories" "Sports Medicine"

"Detox" is the eleventh episode of the first season of House, which premiered on the FOX network on February 15, 2005. The episode marks the first of repeated storylines in which the condition Lupus is suggested but ruled out.



Cuddy bets a month's clinic duty that House can't stay off of Vicodin for a week, while House is trying to find out why a teenage car crash victim named Keith (Nicholas D'Agosto) driving a Porsche won't stop bleeding after three weeks. Combined with internal bleeding, Keith has hemolytic anemia, an uncommon but very serious condition, especially in 16-year-olds.

Foreman and Chase run through a series of tests, while Cameron probes to learn about Keith's medical history. The tests reveal no new information. A blood clot in his left eye causes the team to look for an infection, which again yields nothing. Chase recommends removing some fluid from his eye to relieve the clot, which works, but the patient's liver damage leads the team to settle on a rare form of hepatitis.

Meanwhile, House is experiencing severe withdrawal to the extent that he breaks his own fingers to distract himself from his aching leg. He mocks the patient's condition, angering the father. House states that Lupus is the most likely cause, but directs them to test for Hepatitis E, which is untreatable, to eliminate it first, which requires lying to the father. Foreman suggests that House take Vicodin to prevent fatal errors. Cameron admits lying to the father, and that she believes that Keith has Lupus.

Before administering Solu-Medrol to test for Hepatitis E, Keith has hallucinations about his deceased cat. The father is still too angry to listen to explanations, especially when they find that Keith will need a liver transplant to survive. Still unconvinced of the Lupus diagnosis, House sends Foreman and Chase to dig up the family cat. House performs a necropsy on the cat, finding the cause of the cat's death as well as what's affecting Keith.

The final diagnosis is naphthalene poisoning, brought on by a swarm of termites[1] living within the walls of Keith's bedroom, which House reveals as the surgery to replace his liver is about to occur. Though everyone is reluctant to trust House (the father punches him), the father reluctantly agrees to accept the diagnosis. Chase and Foreman open Keith's wall, and find a large amount of termites. Keith gets better, and House wins his bet with Cuddy (the bet actually thought up by Dr. Wilson), though he admits he's an addict. He doesn't see it as a problem, since the pills let him do his work, and take away his pain.


Hugh Laurie submitted this episode for consideration of his work for the 57th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2005. This resulted in his first Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" for his role as Dr. Gregory House.[2]


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