Archive for May 2014

Rubbing alcohol toxicity

May 31, 2014, 10:08 am


Isopropanol poisoning. slaughter RJ et al. Clin Toxicol 2014 May 9 [Epub ahead of print]


This comprehensive and well done review article will tell you perhaps more than you wanted to know about isopropyl alcohol poisoning.

This is, frankly, not the sexiest topic in medical toxicology, since isopropanol ingestion generally responds to supportive care and rarely causes death. However, …

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Tox Tunes #83: Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer (Bessie Smith)

May 25, 2014, 11:45 am

Bessie Smith (1894-1937) was one of the greatest blues singers on the jazz age. On this cut, recorded in 1933, this plea for fun, a trotter, and a bottle of beer turns distinctly druggier in the last verse:

Gimme a reefer and a gang o’ gin
Slay me, ’cause I’m in my sin
Slay me, ’cause I’m full of gin

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Counties in California sue manufacturers of opioid analgesics

May 24, 2014, 10:10 pm

This week, two counties in California sued five manufacturers of opioid analgesics, accusing them of carrying out a “campaign of deception” to boost sales of their products. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times:

In sweeping language reminiscent of the legal attack against the tobacco industry, the lawsuit alleges the drug companies have reaped blockbuster profits by

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NPR on Green Tobacco Sickness

May 23, 2014, 10:27 am

As a supplement to yesterday’s post about green tobacco sickness, this is a report on the same topic from NPR’s “All Things Considered.”…

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Green tobacco sickness: down on the farm

May 22, 2014, 2:55 pm


Green Tobacco Sickness in Children and Adolescents. McKnight RH, Spiller HA.  Public Health Rep 2005 Nov-Dec;120:602-605.

Full text

Last week the advocacy group Human Rights Watch released a 138-page report titled “Tobacco’s Hidden Children: Hazardous Child Labor in United States Tobacco Farming.” The group points out that under U.S. law even pre-teenage children can legally work on tobacco farms, where …

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Make the diagnosis, Sherlock!

May 21, 2014, 8:26 pm


This is a case recently reported in the Medical Journal of Australia.  A 50-year-old woman presented with a read, painful, scaling rash on her hand an forearms, and around her eyes. She reported that sun exposure aggravated the dermal symptoms. She also gave a history of intermittent diarrhea. Examination revealed a scaly hyperpigmented lesion on her upper chest, in the …

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Episode #4: Poisoning and the diagnosis of brain death

May 20, 2014, 5:44 pm

Diagnosing brain death is an endeavor fraught with peril, especially when drug overdose is a possible cause of deep coma. In this episode, we will talk about a famous case from New York in which a patient awoke on the operating table just as surgeons were about to harvest her organs for donation, and medical articles discussing diagnostic criteria for brain death.

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From title on, this paper is a major fail

May 17, 2014, 6:00 pm



Intralipid therapy does not improve level of consciousness in overdoses with sedating drugs: A case series. Downes MA et al. Emerg Med Australas 2014 May 8. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12237. [Epub ahead of print]


Frankly, I disliked everything about this paper. The authors did a retrospective chart review of patients at their institution who were given intralipid emulsion therapy (ILE) …

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Methanol poisoning disaster in Kenya, and other tox on the web

May 13, 2014, 9:55 pm

Walking Dead Man: KDFW-TV in Dallas-fort Worth  is reporting that the synthetic cannabinoid responsible for sending at least 140 people to hospital in the D-FW and Austin areas was packaged with the labels “Dead Man Walking” and “Walking Dead Man.” Signs and symptoms included psychosis, aggressive behavior, blackouts, and hyperthermia. You can read TPR‘s coverage of this outbreak here

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