Key errors in managing salicylate toxicity

October 6, 2013, 5:54 pm

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Severe salicylate toxicity is one of the trickiest and most difficult poisoning emergency practitioners can encounter. Inattention or minor treatment errors can result in a disastrous clinical outcome. A recent document put out by the American College of Medical Toxicology points out some key mistakes that can be committed when managing these cases:

  • failure to pay attention to the units that salicylate levels are reported in
  • failure to appreciate hypovolemia
  • failure to follow serial salicylate levels closely
  • failure to appreciate clinical deterioration when salicylate levels are decreasing
  • failure to maintain hyperventilation after intubation

My recent column in Emergency Medicine News addresses some of this issues. To read it, click here.

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