Toxicology in the Emergency Department: A Review for the Advanced Practice Nurse

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General assessment, resuscitation strategies, and risk assessment of the poisoned patient are explored in this article, including specific interventions for unresponsive patients and seizures. Sympathomimetic and anticholinergic toxidromes are described in terms of clinical presentation and treatment strategies and are compared with other common toxidromes. Controversies in gastric decontamination are also outlined, including consensus panel and national organizational recommendations. Despite available methods for toxin elimination, advances in medicine, and pharmacotherapy options, the cornerstone of toxicology remains supportive care. The purpose of this article is to equip the advanced practice nurse in the emergency setting with baseline knowledge to provide initial care of the poisoned patient.

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