Archive for December 2011

Angry Birds? or Domoic Acid Toxicity

December 30, 2011, 9:00 pm

On August 18 1961 the Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel reported a most unusual occurrence:

A massive flight of sooty shearwaters, fresh from a feat of anchovies, collided with shoreside structures from Pleasure Point to Rio del Mar during the night.
Residents, especially in the Pleasure Point and Capitola area were awakened about 3 a.m. today by the rain of

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The Best Medical Education App Ever

December 29, 2011, 5:16 pm


With so many high quality, worthwhile medical podcasts available online — and more coming it seems every day — a big problem I’ve found is keeping track of them all and knowing when a new post is available. The iTunes store is, frankly, a pain — cumbersome, cluttered, and not user-friendly.

I’ve just discovered Instacast, an app that makes it …

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Review: cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome

December 28, 2011, 12:34 am

★★★½☆

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. Galli JA et al. Curr Drug Abuse Rev 2011 Nov 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

As TPR has previously discussed, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a paradoxical condition in which frequent, chronic use of marijuana can cause cyclic vomiting. CHS is characterized by:

  • chronic use of marijuana (usually daily for more than a year)
  • recurrent

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The case of the deadly bracelet

December 27, 2011, 12:23 am

Jequirity bean

The Express (U.K.) reported today that the ecologically conscious tourist site Eden Project removed souvenir bracelets from its gift shop after workers realized they were made of the very toxic jequirity bean (Abrus precatorius).

These decorative red-and-black beads are often used for ornaments and rosaries. (Precare menas “to pray”.)  They contain the toxin abrin, …

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane . . . OMG, it’s a snake!

December 24, 2011, 2:31 pm

★★★☆☆

Bitten By the “Flying” Tree Snake, Chrysopelea Paradisi. Tan TL et al. J Emerg Med 2011 Dec 9 [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

The Paradise Tree Snake, AKA Paradise Flying Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi), — found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia — has the remarkable ability to glide from tree to tree by launching itself from …

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Case report: fatality after ingestion of methylone and butylone sold as “ecstasy”

December 22, 2011, 11:30 pm

★★★½☆

Lethal Serotonin Syndrome After Methylone and Butylone Ingestion. Warrick BJ et al. J Med Toxicol 2011 Dec 9 [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract 

Methylone and butylone are designer phenethylamines sometimes found in products sold as “legal alternatives” to ecstasy (MDMA).

Methylone has a structure almost identical to that of “ecstasy”, differing only by the addition of a ketone group. It …

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Review article: Spider bite

December 22, 2011, 1:57 am

Black widow spider

★★★★☆

Spider bite. Isbister GK, Fan HW. Lancet 2011 Dec 10;378:2039-2047.

Abstract 

This up-to-date review article covers 4 types of toxic spiders: Latrodectus (widow spiders), Loxosceles (recluse, fiddleback, or brown spiders); funnel-web spiders, and Phoneutria (the South American wandering spider, AKA the banana or armed spider). Although it is difficult so summarize since it covers so much …

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Review of ricin toxicity

December 21, 2011, 1:48 am

Castor beans

★★★½☆

Understanding Ricin from a Defensive Viewpoint. Griffiths GD. Toxins 2011 Nov;3:1373-92.

Full text 

Over 100 million tons of castor beans (Ricin cummunis) are processes yearly in the manufacture of lubricants (e.g., Castrol Motor Oil), paints and varnishes, synthetic fabrics and medicinal products. Mash that remains after oil is extract from the beans contains ricin, theoretically one …

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Case report: seizures after smoking a synthetic cannabinoid product

December 19, 2011, 11:35 pm

★★★☆☆

Convulsions Associated with the Use of a Synthetic Cannabinoid Product. Schneir AB, Baumbacher T. J Med Toxicol 2011 Dec 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract 

Presenting signs and symptoms often seen after a patient has been exposed to a synthetic cannabinoid product such as “Spice” or “K2” include agitation, paranoia, and tachycardia. Seizures are rare. This brief case report — …

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