Basic Principles of Management of Drug Poisoning
Poisoning refers to the damaging physiological effects occurring as a result of exposure to pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, or chemicals. Poisoning is a medical emergency and requires immediate care. The various steps involved in the management of a patient with poisoning are resuscitation or stabilization of the patient, evaluation of the patient, decontamination of the patient, poison elimination, antidote administration, and nursing and psychiatric care. Analytical toxicological methods can aid in the diagnosis, management, prognosis, and prevention of poisonings. Analytical toxicology is defined as the “detection, identification, and measurement of foreign compounds (xenobiotics) in biological and other specimens.” Also, toxicovigilance activities are required to monitor the toxic effects of drugs in humans. Toxicovigilance is defined as “the active process of identifying and evaluating the toxic risks existing in a community and evaluating the measures taken to reduce or eliminate them.” Poison information center refers to a specialized division providing information on poisoning to healthcare professionals and the community. They are located at centers having facilities for emergency and intensive care services. Their main functions include the provision of toxicological information and advice, management of patients with poisoning, provision of laboratory analytical services, toxicovigilance activities and research, and education on prevention and treatment of poisoning.
KeywordsDrug overdosage Poison information center Toxicovigilance Toxicology
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