Toxicology

Podcast # 459 Clonidine Ingestion

Author:  Julian Orenstein, MD Educational Pearls:   Severe clonidine ingestion can present as a fluctuating mental status between typically accompanied by changes in vital signs (hypotension/bradycardia) Respiratory depression requiring intubation is not uncommon   References Isbister GK, Heppell SP, Page CB, Ryan NM. Adult clonidine overdose: prolonged bradycardia and central nervous system depression, but not…

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Podcast # 455: Hunting for PeeCP

Author: Michael Hunt, MD Educational Pearls:   Like all tests, urine toxicology (utox) screens can have false positives Prescription medications such as demerol, antipsychotics, ketamine, and tramadol can all produce a false positive utox for PCP Over-the-counter medication such as dextromethorphan also mimic PCP on utox   References Doyon S. (January 2014). False Positive Urine…

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Podcast # 454: Tylenol Overdose

Educational Pearls:   Acetaminophen overdose can also present in patients taking too much over the course of days to weeks – not just intentional ingestions If acute overdose is suspected, refer to the Rumak-Matthew nomogram to guide treatment based on time of ingestion and the time of level In chronic overdose, Tylenol levels will not…

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Podcast #449:  Banana Bags

Author: Dylan Luyten, MD Educational Pearls: A “banana bag” is a bag of IV fluid that contains various vitamins and minerals including folate and thiamine IV fluids do not alter intoxicated patients recovery in the emergency department Folate deficiency is rare in the intoxicated patient Some intoxicated patients may be thiamine deficient, and those that…

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Podcast #448:  Chronic Salicylate Toxicity

Author: Ryan Circh, MD Educational Pearls: Chronic salicylate (ASA) toxicity can present in elderly patients as altered mental status Consider chronic toxicity in patients with an unexplained anion gap acidosis Treatment for chronic ingestion typically  includes IV fluids and urine alkalinization References: O’Malley GF. Emergency department management of the salicylate-poisoned patient. Emerg Med Clin North…

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Podcast # 440 : Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Author: Katie Sprinkle, MD Educational Pearl:   Carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of death from poison world-wide CO forms from the combustion of any carbon based product Patients often present with non specific symptom like headache, vomiting, and malaise Consider this diagnosis with multiple people presenting with similar symptoms from a single location…

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Podcast #394: Myths of Medication Assisted Treatment

Author: Katie Sprinkle, MD Educational Pearls: Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the treatment of addiction with medications, commonly used for opioid use disorders A long held belief is MAT simply replaces one addiction for another, which is patently false MAT is one of the most affective methods to treat a patient with opioid addiction Unfortunately,…

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Podcast #378: Is That a Brown Recluse Spider Bite?

Author:  Michael Hunt, MD Educational Pearls: Use the mnemonic NOT RECLUSE to rule out a brown recluse spider bite: Numerous bites (recluse spiders will bite once) Occurence (recluse bites between April- October) Timing (recluse spiders are… get this…  reclusive) Red (recluse bites are white/pale) Elevated (recluse bites are flat) Chronic (recluse bites are acute) Large…

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Podcast #376: Alcohol Intoxication

Educational Pearls: Blood concentrations over 0.4 mg/dL  is associated with respiratory depression and possible death in alcohol naive patients Alcohol overdose accounts to 2,200 deaths per year Don’t forget about checking for hypoglycemia in severe alcohol intoxication Consider ketamine for agitation to prevent further respiratory depression   Editor’s note: check out our podcast on ketamine…

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Podcast # 369: Five powerful toxins – the definitive list?

Author: Michael Hunt, MD Educational Pearls: Here is a list of some very toxic natural substances: #5: Tetrodotoxin: Found in pufferfish and other aquatic species #4: Ricin: made from castor beans #3: Mercury: natural element absorbable through skin and gloves #2: Batrachotoxin: found on poison dart frogs #1: Botulinum toxin: produced by Clostridium botulinum and…

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