Cases reported "Poisoning"

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1/88. organophosphate poisoning versus brainstem stroke.

    Two patients presented unconscious after deliberate organophosphate ingestion. Both were initially misdiagnosed as having brainstem stroke, and plans were made for withdrawing treatment within 24 hours. Once correctly diagnosed and appropriately treated, both recovered, illustrating the importance of considering a wide differential diagnosis before withdrawing support and of not relying on routine "drug screens" to detect organophosphates.
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2/88. Medical treatment of the adolescent drug abuser. An opportunity for rehabilitative intervention.

    Illnesses related to both the pharmacologic properties of abused substances and their methods of administration often bring the teenager to medical attention and may provide sufficient motivation for the adolescent to seek help beyond the acute problem. Successful treatment of an overdose reaction, an abstinence syndrome, or any other medical complication of drug abuse may give the physician a unique opportunity to begine further evalution for future care.
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3/88. Acute hypermagnesemia and respiratory arrest following infusion of MgSO4 for tocolysis.

    Hypermagnesemia (6.95 mmol/l) and respiratory arrest occurred to a 20-year-old female (G3P2002) at 26 weeks of gestation during tocolytic treatment with MgSO4.7H2O (density greater than plasmalyte) injected into an i.v. infusion bag containing 1 l of plasmalyte without mixing. The patient was rescued with calcium gluconate and normal pregnancy continued. It is important to adequately mix an i.v. solution after adding a drug particularly when the drug-containing solution has greater density than the parent i.v. solution.
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4/88. drowning and near-drowning--some lessons learnt.

    Over a period of sixteen months, 17 cases of submersion injury (encompassing victims of drowning and near-drowning) were attended to at our Accident and Emergency Department at Changi General Hospital. Most of the victims were inexperienced recreational swimmers, and in 6 of them, early bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation enabled them to recover without severe morbidity. Non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema with resulting chest infection was the commonest complication in survivors. Most of the episodes occurred in an urban setting in swimming pools without supervision by lifeguards. About two-thirds of the cases were adults over the age of fifteen years. In addition, there were patients in whom submersion injury was associated with more sinister conditions (fits, traumatic cervical spine injury, dysbarism, intoxication from alcohol or drugs), some of which were unsuspected by the doctors initially. Apart from the immediate threats of hypoxia and pulmonary injury, active search for any possible precipitating causes and associated occult injury should be made. In this study, the determinants of survival from near-drowning were early institution of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, presence of pupil reactivity, and presence of a palpable pulse and cardiac sinus rhythm.
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5/88. cantharidin poisoning due to "blister beetle" ingestion.

    cantharidin, the active ingredient of "Spanish Fly", is contained in a number of insects collectively called blister beetles and is a well known toxin and vesicant. We report on a case of ingestion of Mylabris dicincta ("blister beetle") in zimbabwe by a 4 year old girl. The ingested beetles were probably mistaken for the edible Eulepida mashona. She presented with many of the classic signs and symptoms of cantharidin poisoning including haematuria and abdominal pains. This was recognised only after consultation with the drug information centre. She was managed conservatively, recovered and was discharged after 9 days. A overview of the clinical effects of cantharidin toxicity and its treatment is presented.
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6/88. plasma exchange for the removal of digoxin-specific antibody fragments in renal failure: timing is important for maximizing clearance.

    Life-threatening digoxin toxicity may be effectively treated with digoxin-specific antibody fragments (Fab). However, in end-stage renal disease, the digoxin-Fab complexes persist in the circulation and dissociate, potentially resulting in rebounding free digoxin levels and the recurrence of symptomatic toxicity. To prevent this rebound phenomenon, plasma exchange (PE) has been implemented for the removal of the digoxin-Fab complexes in renal failure. However, there is only one case report describing its use in this setting. To better determine the optimal timing of PE after Fab administration, we performed two PE treatments (each preceded by Fab) in a patient with acute renal failure and acute digoxin poisoning. The admission serum digoxin level was 21 ng/mL. The timing of the PE treatments relative to Fab dosing was as follows: the first PE was performed 26 hours post-Fab, and the second PE was performed 2.5 hours post-Fab. The plasma ultrafiltrate digoxin concentration was 2.5-fold greater when PE was performed 2.5 hours versus 26 hours after Fab administration (19.9 versus 8.1 ng/mL). The combined total amount of digoxin removed in the ultrafiltrate plasma was minimal (0.13 mg), less than 1% of the total amount of ingested drug. We conclude that the optimal timing of PE is within the first 3 hours after Fab administration. Although PE is efficacious for removing digoxin-Fab complexes, thus preventing rebound digoxin toxicity, it is not efficacious for improving total digoxin clearance because of the large apparent volume of distribution of digoxin (5 to 8 L/kg).
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7/88. Severe ethylene glycol ingestion treated without hemodialysis.

    Fomepizole (4-methylpyrazole, Antizol) is being increasingly used in the treatment of ethylene glycol toxicity in adults. Little experience exists with this drug, however, in the pediatric population. We present a case of ethylene glycol poisoning in a child where use of fomepizole averted intravenous ethanol infusion and hemodialysis, limited the duration of intensive care monitoring, and decreased the overall cost of treatment.
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8/88. Electrocardiographic manifestations: digitalis toxicity.

    Toxicity from the digitalis family of cardiac glycoside medications remains common. Successful treatment depends on early recognition; however, the diagnosis of potentially life-threatening toxicity remains difficult because the clinical presentation is often nonspecific and subtle. The hallmark of cardiac toxicity is increased automaticity coupled with concomitant conduction delay. Though no single dysrhythmia is always present, certain aberrations such as frequent premature ventricular beats, bradydysrhythmias, paroxysmal atrial tachycardia with block, junctional tachycardia, and bidirectional ventricular tachycardia are common. Treatment depends on the clinical condition rather than serum drug level. Management varies from temporary withdrawal of the medication to administration of digoxin-specific Fab fragments for life-threatening cardiovascular compromise.
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9/88. Repeated measurements of aldicarb in blood and urine in a case of nonfatal poisoning.

    A nonfatal case of poisoning involving aldicarb, an extremely toxic carbamate pesticide, is presented. A 39-year-old female ingested an unknown amount of aldicarb, together with alprazolam and sertraline. On admission to ICU (T0), she displayed marked cholinergic symptoms and a deep coma. The patient was given pralidoxime and atropine. Her condition gradually improved on days 2 and 3 and she was discharged at T0 80 h. aldicarb was assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography on 21 blood and 8 urine samples successively taken during hospitalization. At the same time, serum pseudocholinesterase activity was followed on 21 successive samples. blood aldicarb level was 3.11 microg/mL at T0 and peaked at T0 3.5 h (3.22 microg/mL), then followed a two-slope decay with a terminal half-life of ca. 20 h. aldicarb was detected in all urine samples (peak level: 6.95 microg/mL at T0 31.5 h) and was still present at the time of discharge. serum pseudo-cholinesterase activity remained low (< or = 10% of normal) until the 30th hour then rapidly increased and returned to normal after the 60th hour. The patient's clinical picture closely followed blood aldicarb levels and serum pseudo-cholinesterase activities. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an aldicarb poisoning documented by repeated measurements of the drug in the intoxicated person.
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10/88. The cocaine "body stuffer" syndrome: a fatal case.

    Body stuffer, sometimes called "mini packer", is the definition of someone who admits to or is strongly suspected of ingesting illegal drugs in order to escape detection by authorities, and not for recreational purposes or to transport the drug across borders. cocaine is the drug most commonly involved in the body stuffer syndrome. Reported cases of body stuffer deaths are rare, however a fatality related to the ingestion of a plastic bag containing cocaine is described regarding a 17-year-old dealer. The authors describe how the cocaine body stuffer syndrome differs from the usual body packer. Histological and toxicological findings are examined and discussed for a better definition of this unique syndrome.
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