Fundaments of Toxicology—Approach to the Poisoned Patient

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7 Scopus citations


Management of the poisoned patient begins with supportive care, assessment of organ function and dysfunction, and consideration of known or suspected poisons. The possibility of multiple ingestions should be considered with intentional exposures or suicide attempts. Enteric decontamination involves treatment to prevent the absorption of toxins from the gastrointestinal system and includes the use of activated charcoal. Poisoned patients may benefit from the use if antidotes are available, or enhanced elimination as with salicylate ion trapping during urinary alkalinization. The use of intravenous lipid therapy is of clinical benefit in poisoning from bupivacaine, amitriptyline, and bupropion. Hemodialysis is the most inexpensive, widely available, and most commonly used method of extracorporeal drug removal in the treatment of poisoning. Chelators with different chemical properties can bind toxic metals, providing an essential mechanism for detoxification, and may be used in combination with extracorporeal therapies such as DFO with HD for aluminum or iron, and DMSA or DMPS with HD to treat arsenic or mercury intoxication. The use of displacers with hemodialysis can be considered to augment clearance of protein-bound toxins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Chronic Kidney Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Activated charcoal
  • Antidotes
  • Chelation
  • Hemodialysis
  • Urinary alkalinization


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