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Sung Jin Bae 1 Article
Survey of Activated Charcoal Administration for Poisoning Patients Visited in Emergency Medical Centers and Emergency Staff's Perception in Korea
Sung Jin Bae, Yoon Hee Choi, Duk Hee Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):17-23.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.17
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Purpose: Activated charcoal (AC) has been widely used as a universal antidote. Currently, emergency medical centers in Korea cannot administer AC due to discontinuation of the supply of commercial ready-mixed AC suspension. This study was conducted to investigate the proportion of emergency medical centers that administer AC to poisoning patients and provide basic information for emergency physicians and toxicologists. Methods: A prospective telephone survey of all of the included emergency medical institutions was conducted. The type of emergency medical institution, average annual number of patients admitted to the emergency department, annual average number of patients who were poisoned and whether the hospital currently utilizes gastric lavage and administration of AC were determined. Results: AC was administered to poisoning patients in 40% of regional emergency medical centers, 59.3% of local emergency medical centers, and 45.9% of local emergency medical rooms. Overall, 37% of total emergency medical institutions did not administer AC due to discontinuation of the commercial ready-mixed AC suspension. Additionally, 77% of emergency physicians in institutions without AC knew AC is necessary for poisoning patients. The rate of vomiting experienced by the medical staff according to types of charcoal showed that the average rate of vomiting was 33% for commercial ready-mixed activated charcoal suspension and 51% for self-prepared charcoal powder (p=0.02). Conclusion: AC should be secured promptly in emergency medical institutions. Before the supply of commercial ready-mixed AC suspension becomes again it is essential to develop a standardized regimen for self-preparation of charcoal powder and to educate emergency physicians and toxicologists to its use.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology