CME: An Update on Poisonings Presenting to EDs

CME: An Update on Poisonings Presenting to EDs
Author Information (click to view)

Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD

Director, Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center
Denver Health and Hospital Authority
Professor of Emergency Medicine
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Chief, Medical Toxicology Service
Denver Health Medical Center

Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD, has indicated to Physician’s Weekly that he has worked as a consultant for McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Pfizer, and Purdue, and has worked as a paid speaker for Purdue Pharma. He has also received grants/research aid from McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Pfizer.

Figure 1 (click to view)
Figure 2 (click to view)
Target Audience (click to view)

This activity is designed to meet the needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives(click to view)

Upon completion of the educational activity, participants should be able to:

 

  1. Summarize data from U.S. poison centers about new emerging chemicals and drugs that emergency department personnel may confront.

Method of Participation(click to view)

Statements of credit will be awarded based on the participant reviewing monograph, correctly answer 2 out of 3 questions on the post test, completing and submitting an activity evaluation.  A statement of credit will be available upon completion of an online evaluation/claimed credit form at www.akhcme.com/pwOct6.  You must participate in the entire activity to receive credit.  If you have questions about this CME/CE activity, please contact AKH Inc. at dcotterman@akhcme.com.

Credit Available(click to view)

AKH

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare and Physician’s Weekly’s.  AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

 

AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Commercial Support(click to view)

There is no commercial support for this activity.

Disclosures(click to view)

It is the policy of AKH Inc. to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, scientific rigor, and integrity in all of its continuing education activities. The author must disclose to the participants any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in the activity or with the commercial supporter of this continuing education activity. Identified conflicts of interest are resolved by AKH prior to accreditation of the activity and may include any of or combination of the following: attestation to non-commercial content; notification of independent and certified CME/CE expectations; referral to National Author Initiative training; restriction of topic area or content; restriction to discussion of science only; amendment of content to eliminate discussion of device or technique; use of other author for discussion of recommendations; independent review against criteria ensuring evidence support recommendation; moderator review; and peer review.

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use & Investigational Product(click to view)

This educational activity may include discussion of uses of agents that are investigational and/or unapproved by the FDA. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

Disclaimer(click to view)

This course is designed solely to provide the healthcare professional with information to assist in his/her practice and professional development and is not to be considered a diagnostic tool to replace professional advice or treatment. The course serves as a general guide to the healthcare professional, and therefore, cannot be considered as giving legal, nursing, medical, or other professional advice in specific cases. AKH Inc. specifically disclaim responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through participant’s misunderstanding of the content.

Faculty & Credentials(click to view)

Keith D’Oria – Editorial Director
Discloses no financial relationships with pharmaceutical or medical product manufacturers.
Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD
Discloses no financial relationships with pharmaceutical or medical product manufacturers.
 
AKH and PHYSICIAN WEEKLY’S STAFF/REVIEWERS

Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN- CE Director of Accreditation
Discloses no financial relationships with pharmaceutical or medical product manufacturers.

AKH planners and reviewers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

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Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD (click to view)

Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD

Director, Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center
Denver Health and Hospital Authority
Professor of Emergency Medicine
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Chief, Medical Toxicology Service
Denver Health Medical Center

Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD, has indicated to Physician’s Weekly that he has worked as a consultant for McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Pfizer, and Purdue, and has worked as a paid speaker for Purdue Pharma. He has also received grants/research aid from McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Pfizer.

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New data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers show that poisonings from prescription drugs are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Poisonings from “bath salts,” synthetic marijuana, and laundry detergent pods appear to be emerging threats to public health.
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In the United States, deaths from drug overdose have become a leading cause of injury-related mortalities. According to current estimates, drug misuse and abuse causes about 2.5 million visits to the ED. “Drug-related deaths now exceed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.,” says Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD. “This is an important issue for EDs because they are typically the first to encounter these cases.”

Despite being familiar with managing patients suspected of being poisoned, emergency physicians are continually challenged by the emergence of new types of poisoning. “Every year, emergency physicians encounter a new wave of poisoning agents that range from household products to drugs that are intended for recreational use,” Dr. Dart says. “Each newly identified poisoning agent may require a new approach to diagnose and manage.”

Examining Recent Trends

The National Poison Data System (NPDS) collects information from poison centers throughout the U.S. in order to recognize emerging poisonous hazards early. “This system can provide real-time advice while collecting data on a variety of poisonings, including those that may be new or unfamiliar to emergency physicians,” Dr. Dart says. Considering the challenges that come with managing new types of poisonings, the NPDS can play an integral role in helping EDs respond to dangerous substances.

Dr. Dart and colleagues had a study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine that summarized data from U.S. poison centers about new emerging chemicals and drugs that ED personnel may confront. Specifically, the research used 2012 data to explore trends in poisonings involving opioids, laundry detergents, bath salts, synthetic cannabinoids (eg, Spice), and energy drinks.

According to the results, poison centers across the country recorded 2.2 million human poison exposures in 2012, most of which involved patients contacting a poison center. Most of these cases are managed without the need for an ED visit. Emergency facilities were more likely to be involved in the management of poisonings as patient age increased. More than 51% of teenagers and nearly 38% of adults were treated for poisonings at healthcare facilities in 2012. Overall, the annual number of human exposure cases has leveled off in recent years, but more serious exposure cases requiring the involvement of EDs are continuing to rise.

Assessing Specific Agents

“The majority of poisonings ending in death in 2012 were primarily linked to misuse of opioids, but the NPDS also recorded mortalities from cardiovascular drugs and antidepressants,” Dr. Dart says. In addition, data show that the total number of prescription opioid exposures by children more than doubled between 2002 and 2012.

A new and unexpected source of poisonings among children has been found with single-use laundry detergent pods and liquid laundry detergents (Figure 1). “The adverse effects of poisoning with these agents are generally not life-threatening, but it’s important for ED personnel to be aware that they may cause poisoning cases, typically in children,” says Dr. Dart. ED physicians should consider laundry packet exposures more dangerous than open-container liquid exposures. Standard irrigation and follow-up are indicated for irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes, and typical airway management can help maintain the airway. Patients usually need a 2- or 3-hour observation period but can then be discharged if symptoms resolve.

Designed drugs like bath salts, which are a type of amphetamine, and synthetic marijuana also continue to poison users severely enough to require emergency medical care (Figure 2). The initial management of bath salt toxicity and synthetic marijuana is similar to that of other causes of agitated delirium. “However, patients with clinical effects from these agents should be observed closely because new structural versions are continually being created,” Dr. Dart says.

Regarding energy drinks, NPDS data show that children younger than 6 accounted for about half of reported poisoning exposures in 2012. National education efforts are being made to raise awareness of the risks of consuming energy drinks, and this appears to have helped reduce poison center reports of these poisonings.

Continued Vigilance Needed

Dr. Dart says that it is important to report suspected poisoning cases to poison control centers, especially if cases appear to be out of the ordinary. “Since EDs are typically the first to see new types of poisonings, it’s critical that emergency personnel call their poison control centers to report these events,” he says. “Reporting these poisonings can enable EDs to get help with managing patients and enable the information to be recorded in the NPDS. This will further our efforts to identify new emergency challenges with poisonings and reduce the burden on EDs to manage these events.”

Readings & Resources (click to view)

Dart RC, Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, et al. Poisoning in the United States: 2012 Emergency Medicine Report of the National Poison Data System. Ann Emerg Med. 2014 Dec 3 [Epub ahead of print]. Available at: http://www.annemergmed.com/article/S0196-0644(14)01477-2/fulltext.

Dasgupta N, Davis J, Jonsson Funk M, et al. Using poison center exposure calls to predict methadone poisoning deaths. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e41181.

Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, et al. 2012 Annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 30th annual report. Clin Toxicol. 2013;51:949-1229.

Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR, et al. 2011 Annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 29th annual report. Clin Toxicol. 2012;50:911-1164.

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