Toxicological Emergencies

Poisoning is the second leading cause of injury-related morbidity and mortality in the United States, with more than 2.4 million toxic exposures reported each year. Recently published national consensus guidelines recommend that hospitals providing emergency care routinely stock 24 antidotes for a wide range of toxicities, including toxic-alcohol poisoning, exposure to cyanide and other industrial agents, and intentional or unintentional overdoses of prescription medications (e.g., calcium-channel blockers, β-blockers, digoxin, isoniazid). Pharmacists can help reduce morbidity and mortality due to poisonings and overdoses by (1) recognizing the signs and symptoms of various types of toxic exposure, (2) guiding emergency room staff on the appropriate use of antidotes and supportive therapies, (3) helping to ensure appropriate monitoring of patients for antidote response and adverse effects, and (4) managing the procurement and stocking of antidotes to ensure their timely availability.

 

  • Toxicology
  • clinical toxicology
  • Forensic studies

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