Toxicology Archives - The Emergency Medical Minute

Toxicology

Episode 903: Treating Precipitated Opioid Withdrawal

Contributor: Aaron Lessen MD Educational Pearls: Opioid overdoses that are reversed with naloxone (Narcan), a mu-opioid antagonist, can precipitate acute withdrawal in some patients Treatment of opioid use disorder with buprenorphine can also precipitate withdrawal Opioid withdrawal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and agitation Buprenorphine works as a partial agonist at mu-opioid receptors, which may…

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Episode 893: Home Treatments for Button Battery Ingestion

Contributor: Aaron Lessen MD Educational Pearls: Button batteries cause alkaline corrosion and erosion of the esophagus when swallowed Children swallow button batteries, which create a medical emergency as they can perforate the esophagus A recent study compared various home remedies as first-aid therapy for button battery ingestion Honey, jam, normal saline, Coca-Cola, orange juice, milk,…

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On The Streets #15: Hydrofluoric Acid Case Review

Contributors: Kalen Abbott, MD – EM Physician and Medical Director for AirLife Denver Brendan Reiss – Flight Nurse AirLife Denver Matt Spoon – Flight Paramedic AirLife Denver Jordan Ourada – EMS Coordinator at Swedish Medical Center and Paramedic Summary: In this episode, hosted by Jordan Ourada, Brendan Reiss and Matt Spoon present a first-hand experience…

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Podcast 866: Carbamazepine (Tegretol) Overdose

Contributor: Aaron Lessen MD Educational Pearls: What is Carbamazepine (Tegretol)? Carbamazepine is an anti-epileptic drug with mood-stabilizing properties that is used to treat bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain. It functions primarily by blocking sodium channels which can prevent repetitive action potential firing. What are the symptoms of an overdose? Common initial signs include diminished…

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Podcast 863: Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder

Contributor: Aaron Lessen MD Educational Pearls: Patients with alcohol use disorder are frequently discharged from the ED without further resources Pharmacological treatments to reduce cravings in AUD exist Naltrexone Effective at reducing alcohol cravings and heavy drinking Gabapentin Reduces the percentage of heavy drinking days in AUD Patients being discharged from the ED should be…

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Podcast 861: Alcohol Withdrawal and Delirium Tremens

Contributor: Travis Barlock MD Educational Pearls: Alcohol binds the GABA receptor, which produces an inhibitory response, hence the “depressive” effects of ethanol beverages. Over time, alcohol downregulates the GABA receptors, leading to unopposed glutamate activity. Given that glutamate is excitatory, this can lead to seizures. Alcohol also suppresses REM sleep; in patients with chronically suppressed…

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Episode 854: Tranq (xylazine) with Heroin

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD Educational Pearls: What is Tranq? Tranq is the street name for xylazine, a sedative drug typically used in veterinary medicine. Xylazine has recently emerged as a recreational drug, often mixed with heroin or fentanyl. The mechanism of action of xylazine is similar to dexmedetomidine (Precedex), an alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonist. At…

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Podcast 837: Snakebites

Contributor: Meghan Hurley, MD Educational Pearls: Venomous snakes in the United States include species from the family Elapidae and subfamily Crotalinae In prehospital setting, elevate the bitten extremity and transport to hospital immediately Do not attempt interventions with the bite site  Monitor for progression of swelling past any joint line, systemic symptoms or lab abnormalities…

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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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