Evaluation and Management of Toxicologic Emergencies
Despite the temptation to manage and treat the toxin-exposed patient from the perspective of the toxin ingested, the astute clinician understands that it is imperative to have a patientcentered approach to patient management. The old adage, “treat the patient and not the disease,” is nowhere more relevant than in the field of toxicology. Knowing with the specific toxin(s) ingested is, indeed, important to patient management, but most patients will not benefit from administration of a specific antidote. In fact, the majority of patients benefit most from an organized management approach based upon sound toxicologic principles guided by working knowledge of the ABC’s, gastric decontamination, enhancement of drug elimination, and the recognition of nontoxic levels of exposure.