The Critically Poisoned Patient

  • J. Ward DonovanEmail author
  • Keith BurkhartEmail author
  • Jeffrey BrentEmail author
Reference work entry


Medical toxicology is a medical subspecialty focusing on the diagnosis, management, and prevention of poisoning and other adverse health effects due to medications, drug overdose, acute drug abuse problems, chemical exposures, occupational and environmental toxins, biological agents, and envenomations. Critical care is the specialized care of patients whose conditions are life-threatening and who require comprehensive care and constant monitoring, usually in intensive care units. The disciplines of critical care medicine and medical toxicology have been intertwined throughout medical history. Texts combining the principles of these closely related specialties may be traced to medieval times; Maimonides wrote his Treatise on Poison and Their in 1198 [1]. In his Treatise, Maimonides outlined the classification, diagnosis, and antidotal therapy of poisonings and described some resuscitation methods of the age. He also, in undoubtedly what was among the first attempts to evaluate therapies critically, refuted many of the then-popular treatments. The need to continually reevaluate – and commonly refute – generally accepted therapies continues to this day. This book continues this tradition in the spirit established by Maimonides, except, of course, with a more data-driven approach.


Medical toxicology Antidotes Strychnine Physostigmine Drug overdoses Poison control center Toxins Benzodiazepines Flumazenil Acetaminophen overdoses Carbon monoxide Stimulants Amphetamines Cocaine Antidepressants Medical toxicology training Poison treatment centers 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emergency MedicinePenn State UniversityHersheyUSA
  2. 2.FDA, Office of New Drugs/Immediate Office, Center for Drug Evaluation and ResearchSilver SpringUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity of Colorado, School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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