Toxicology Archives - The Emergency Medical Minute

Toxicology

Podcast 795: Lithium Toxicity

Contributor: Peter Bakes, MD Educational Pearls: Lithium remains a commonly used medication for treating bipolar disorder Lithium toxicity can be acute, acute-on-chronic, or chronic  Measuring blood lithium level Therapeutic range of lithium is around 1.6-1.8 mEq/L >2 mEq/L is likely to cause significant toxicity >4 mEq/L necessitates lifesaving treatment The lethal dose of lithium is…

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Podcast 793: Atypical Toxicology Overview in SI

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD Educational Pearls: There are several online products that have been marketed towards individuals with SI Sodium nitrite Food preservative that can cause methemoglobinemia when ingested in large amounts Patients present with blue skin discoloration and severe respiratory distress Treat with methylene blue to reduce methemoglobin back to hemoglobin Formic acid and…

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Podcast 785: Pepper Spray

Contributor: Jared Scott, MD Educational Pearls: Pepper spray is a chemical irritant derived from oleoresin capsicum (OC), an extract from pepper plants. It can be used by police for riot or crowd control, or by individuals for self defense.   In the event of an exposure, those affected should immediately disperse from the area, remove contact…

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Podcast 781: Foxglove, Dropsy, and Salvador Dali

Contributor: Chris Holmes, MD Educational Pearls: Foxglove plant contains the cardiac glycoside digoxin   Foxglove leaf potions were once used to treat Dropsy; a historic term for symptoms of heart failure  Digoxin, previously used for treating heart failure, works by increases heart contraction strength and slows heart rate Of note, the EKG of patient on digitalis…

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A Superior Cocktail

A SUPERIOR COCKTAIL Chief Complaint: Seizures HPI: 26-year-old male presents to the emergency department by EMS after he reportedly had 2 witnessed seizures by friends, who then called EMS. Described as tonic-clonic. EMS notes that he was postictal on arrival. Patient notes that he has not had seizures before in the past. He reports that…

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Podcast 764: Myth or Merit: Beta-Blockers for Cocaine Chest Pain

Contributor: Chris Holmes, MD Educational Pearls: Many are taught that patients with cocaine chest pain should not receive beta-blockers due to unopposed alpha agonism, but is this true? 363 consecutive admissions for chest pain with positive cocaine on urine toxicology were reviewed in a retrospective cohort study 60 patients in this cohort received a beta-blocker…

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Podcast 760: Why Fentanyl is the Worst

Contributor: Don Stader, MD Educational Pearls: Fentanyl’s common administration route through pills has lowered the psychological barrier of using opioid compared to injecting and smoking heroin Fentanyl is showing up in all illicit drugs with documented cases even in marijuana Testing for fentanyl is difficult and requires a send out test because UA does not…

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Podcast 750: Take Home Naloxone

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD Educational Pearls: Think about giving take home naloxone kits for anyone on long-term opioids as well as anyone with an opioid use disorder, those in opioid withdrawal, or those who recently overdosed on opioids Also consider for individuals with non-opioid substance use disorders For patients seen in the ED with an…

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Podcast 748: Botulism

Contributor: Nick Hatch, MD Educational Pearls: Botulism requires a prompt clinical diagnosis as lab results can take about 5 days to return Whale blubber, honey, home fermented foods, homemade wine (especially the wine made in prison), and improperly stored canned food can all contain the toxin The botulinum toxin is create by a Clostridium botulinum…

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Podcast 732: Organophosphate Toxicity

Educational Pearls: Organophosphates affect the cholinergic system by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase affecting muscarinic and nicotinic receptors Symptoms include lacrimation, salivation, bronchoconstriction, blurred vision, bradycardia, bronchorrhea, emesis, and diarrhea Initially, the patient should be decontaminated to prevent further organophosphate exposure Treatment consists of atropine every 5 minutes, 1-3 mg to start and doubling the dose each time…

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