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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology

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Volume 15(1); June 2017
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Prognostic Predictors of Outcome in Patients with Snake Bite, Based on Initial Findings in the Emergency Department
In Yeop Baek, Tae Kwon Kim, Sang Chan Jin, Woo Ik Cho
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):1-10.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.1
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Purpose: This study was conducted to identify predictors of serious poisoning in patients with snake bite based on initial findings. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients with snake bite who were treated at the emergency department between January 2010 and December 2016. The patients were divided into two groups according to the severity of symptoms based on the traditional snakebite severity grading scale. The mild poisoning group (MP) was classified as those who had a grade I snakebite severity during the hospital stay, and the severe poisoning group (SP) was classified as patients who had grade I at the time of admission, but progressed to grade II-IV during hospitalization. Initial clinical manifestations and laboratory findings of the two groups were compared. Results: Bite to hospital time intervals of SP were longer than those of MP (p=0.034), and the local effect score (LES) was higher in SP (p<0.001). Laboratory analyses revealed that creatine phosphokinase (p=0.044), creatine phosphokinase MB isoenzyme (CK-MB, p=0.011) and serum amylase (p=0.008) were significantly higher in SP. LES, CK-MB and serum amylase were significant prognostic predictors as indicated by univariate logistic regression analysis. Multivariate analysis revealed the following two significant predictors: LES (odds ratio=3.983, p<0.001) and serum amylase (odds ratio=1.020, p=0.017). Conclusion: In managing cases of snake bites, clinical manifestations and laboratory findings must be carefully evaluated. LES and serum amylase are predictive factors for severe poisoning, which is especially important to rapid determination of the intensive care of the patient.
Hypoalbuminemia as a Predictor of 30-day Mortality in Patients with Acute Organophosphate Insecticide Poisoning
So Yeon Kim, Ryun Kyung Lee, Tae hu Kim, Dong Hoon Kim, Taeyun Kim, Soo Hoon Lee, Jin Hee Jeong, Sang Bong Lee, Changwoo Kang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):11-16.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.11
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Purpose: The association of hypoalbuminemia with 30-day in-hospital mortality in patients with organophosphate insecticide poisoning (OPI) was studied. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted between January 2006 and November 2013 in the emergency department (ED) after OPI poisoning. A Kaplan-Meier 30-day survival curve and the log-rank test were used to analyze patients stratified according to serum albumin levels on ED admission (hypoalbuminemia or normo-albuminemia). Independent risk factors including hypoalbuminemia for 30-day mortality were determined by multivariate Cox regression analysis. Results: A total of 135 patients were included. Eighty-eight (65%) patients were male and the mean age was $57.3{pm}17.0$ years. Serum albumin, mean arterial pressure, and Glasgow coma scale score were significantly higher in the survival group than the non-survival group. APACHE II score was significantly lower in the non-survival group than the survival group. The mortality of the hypoalbuminemia group (serum albumin <3.5 g/dl) was 68.8%, while that of the normo-albuminemia group (serum albumin ${geq}3.5g/dl$) was 15.1%. The area under the ROC curve of the serum albumin level was 0.786 (95% CI, 0.690-0.881) and the APACHE II score was 0.840 (95% CI, 0.770-0.910). Conclusion: Hypoalbuminemia is associated with 30-day mortality in patients with OPI poisoning.
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.
Accuracy of Disease Codes Registered for Anaphylaxis at Emergency Department
Jin Kyun Choi, Sun Hyu Kim, Hyeji Lee, Byungho Choi, Wook-jin Choi, Ryeok Ahn
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):24-30.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.24
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Purpose: This study was conducted to investigate the frequency and clinical characteristics of anaphylaxis patients who are registered inaccurately with other disease codes. Methods: Study subjects presenting at the emergency department (ED) were retrospectively collected using disease codes to search for anaphylaxis patients in a previous studies. The study group was divided into an accurate and inaccurate group according to whether disease codes were accurately registered as anaphylaxis codes. Results: Among 266 anaphylaxis patients, 144 patients (54%) received inaccurate codes. Cancer was the most common comorbidity, and the radio-contrast media was the most common cause of anaphylaxis in the accurate group. Cutaneous and respiratory symptoms manifested more frequently in the inaccurate group, while cardiovascular and neurological symptoms were more frequent in the accurate group. Blood pressure was lower, and shock and non-alert consciousness were more common in the accurate group. Administration of intravenous fluid and epinephrine use were more frequent in the accurate group. Anaphylaxis patients with a history of cancer, shock, and epinephrine use were more likely to be registered as anaphylaxis codes accurately, but patients with respiratory symptoms were more likely to be registered with other disease codes. Conclusion: In cases of anaphylaxis, the frequency of inaccurately registered disease codes was higher than that of accurately registered codes. Anaphylaxis patients who were not treated with epinephrine at the ED who did not have a history of cancer, but had respiratory symptoms were at increased risk of being registered with disease codes other than anaphylaxis codes.
Implementing Best Practice in Critically Ill Organophosphate Poisoned Patient Through Simulation-Based Learning Program
Ji Hwan Lee, Sung Phil Chung, Hyun Soo Chung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):31-39.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.31
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Purpose: Despite the clinical and socio-economic impact of acute poisoned patients, many of the treatments are not standardized in Korea. Moreover, no formal training that is specifically focused on clinical toxicology exists. Rather, training and education are conducted case by case in various institutions. This study was conducted to develop a standardized simulation-based clinical toxicology training curriculum for healthcare providers. This program will focus on specific assessment and treatment of critical toxicology patients, specifically those who have been poisoned with organophosphate. Methods: The study was performed using a pre- and post-design to determine the effects of implementation of this program. The study was conducted at eight different urban teaching hospitals in a simulated room in the clinical area. The study was targeted to 19 groups composed of emergency residents and nurses. Simulation-based learning was conducted for each group. Results: All 19 groups achieved the minimum passing score of 75%. Implementation of the program led to improved performance rates for overall management and cooperative moods competency (p<0.01). Inter-rater agreement between the two evaluators was excellent. In general, the participants thought the program was realistic and were able to recognize and improve the competencies needed to care for organophosphate poisoned patients. Conclusion: Simulation-based learning is an effective educational strategy that can be applied to improving and understanding proper care for rare but critical patients. This program was effective at improving team performance and cooperative moods when managing an organophosphate poisoned patient in the Emergency Department.
The Usefulness of Serum Lipid Concentration as a Predictor of Convulsion in Patients with Glufosinate Ammonium Poisoning
Hyun Do Lee, Kyung Hoon Sun, Seong Jung Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):40-46.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.40
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Purpose: Glufosinate ammonium (GA; phosphinothricin) can induce neurological complications such as altered mental status, amnesia, and convulsions. This study was conducted to evaluate whether blood lipid profiles can help predict convulsions in patients with GA poisoning. Methods: This study was a retrospective review of data acquired at a tertiary academic university hospital from March 2014 to July 2016. Independent t-test, Mann-Whitney test and Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) of demographic and laboratory findings of 50 patients with GA poisoning were performed to identify correlations of general characteristics and laboratory findings, including blood lipid profiles of GA-poisoned patients between with and without convulsions. Results: Convulsion as a GA complication showed a significant association with poison volume, age, white blood cell count, and creatine phosphokinase (CK), albumin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) content in blood according to an independent t-test and Mann-Whitney test. However, ANCOVA demonstrated significant association with LDL and triglyceride. Conclusion: Blood lipid profiles, especially serum LDL and triglyceride, were useful in predicting convulsions in patients with GA poisoning.
Attempted Suicide by Nitrogen Gas Asphyxiation: A Case Report
Sung-Wook Park, Seok-Ran Yeom, Sang-kyoon Han, Hyung-Bin Kim, Young-Mo Cho, Byung-Kwan Bae, Il-Jae Wang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):47-50.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.47
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Nitrogen is an inert gas that is harmless to humans under normal conditions. While it is not inherently toxic, nitrogen gas becomes dangerous when it displaces oxygen, resulting in suffocation. Herein, we report a case of a 34-year-old man who attempted suicide by nitrogen asphyxiation who presenting with decreased mental function and agitation. Lactic acidosis and hyperammonemia were observed on presentation at the emergency department, but these improved after a few hours. After 2 days, the patient regained full consciousness, and was discharged without any complications. Survival after asphyxiation due to nitrogen gas is very rare, and these patients are more likely to have poorer outcomes. There is a potential for the increasing use of nitrogen gas as a method of committing suicide because of the ease of access to this gas.
A Fatal Case of Colchicine Poisoning
Seung Hyun Ko, Gun Woo Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):51-55.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.51
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Colchicine is a drug that has long been used to treat a variety of illnesses; however, it reportedly has adverse effects at apparent toxic doses as well as at lower and therapeutically recommended doses. The typical therapeutic dose of colchicine is up to 2.4 mg daily, although it is sometimes as high as 8-10 mg daily. Here, we describe a case in which the patient showed sudden deterioration and died because of unintentional colchicine poisoning with a relatively small dose. When a colchicine poisoned patient visits the hospital, the physician should identify the patient's colchicine poisoning dose and concomitant drugs. Moreover, the patients should be monitored intensively for 24 to 72 hours and managed with various supportive treatment methods early and actively.
Pneumatosis Cystoides Intestinales and Portomesenteric Venous Gas following Anticholinesterase Pesticide Poisoning
Suk Hee Lee, Kyung-Woo Lee, Jin Hee Jung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):56-59.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.56
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Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis and portomesenteric venous gas are uncommon radiological findings, but are found commonly in cases of bowel ischemia, or as a result of various non-ischemic conditions. A 72-year-old man visited an emergency center with altered mental status 2 hours after ingestion of an unknown pesticide. On physical examination, he showed the characteristic hydrocarbon or garlic-like odor, miotic pupils with no response to light, rhinorrhea, shallow respiration, bronchorrhea, and sweating over his face, chest and abdomen. Laboratory results revealed decreased serum cholinesterase, as well as elevated amylase and lipase level. We made the clinical diagnosis of organophosphate poisoning in this patient based on the clinical features, duration of symptoms and signs, and level of serum cholinesterase. Activated charcoal, fluid, and antidotes were administered after gastric lavage. A computerized tomography scan of the abdomen with intravenous contrast showed acute pancreatitis, poor enhancement of the small bowel, pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis, portomesenteric venous gas and ascites. Emergent laparotomy could not be performed because of his poor physical condition and refusal of treatment by his family. The possible mechanisms were believed to be direct intestinal mucosal damage by pancreatic enzymes and secondary mucosal disruption due to bowel ischemia caused by shock and the use of inotropics. Physicians should be warned about the possibility of pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis and portomesenteric venous gas as a complication of pancreatitis following anticholinesterase poisoning.
A Case Report of Acute Nicotine Poisoning from Subcutaneous Injection of Nicotine Solution for Electronic Cigarette
Jiun Choi, Dong Ryul Ko, Je Sung You, Sung Phil Chung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):60-64.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.60
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Nicotine-poisoning related to the electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette) is increasing worldwide. Moreover, the American Association of Poison Control Centers has advised the public to use caution with e-cigarette devices and highly concentrated liquid nicotine after a surge in related poisonings. We report here the first case of nicotine poisoning from self-injected e-cigarette fluid in Korea. A 17-year-old male patient subcutaneously injected himself with 0.5 ml of nicotine solution for an electronic cigarette via the dorsum of his hand, after which he complained of nausea, vomiting, dizziness and dyspnea. His vital signs were within the normal range, but his mental status was drowsy. He was admitted for observation and the symptoms disappeared the following day. Sinus bradycardia with a rate of 45/min was observed on the third hospital day, but improved after 6 hours. He was discharged without complications.
Two Cases of Tetramine Intoxication from Neptunea contricta
Seong You Lee, Jang Young Lee, Won Suk Lee, Won Young Sung, Sang Won Seo
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):65-67.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.65
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Even though Neptunea contricta appears similar to Batilus cornutus and Rapana venosa, they are different in tetramine content which inhibits the neuronal calcium channel. Therefore, mistaking Neptunea contricta for Batilus cornutus or Rapana venosa, can result in the occurrence of toxic symptoms. Three patients developed nausea, epigastric pain, chest pain, dizziness, blurred vision, dyspnea, hypertension and tachycardia after eating Neptunea contricta. Moreover, consumption of one only piece was sufficient to cause symptoms because each Neptunea contricta has 17.3 mg of tetramine. Accordingly, care should be taken when patients are consuming more than 5 pieces because toxic symptoms such as dyspnea can occur. Moreover, correct species identification is important because the quantity of tetramine varies among sea snail species. Finally, it is important to educate people to remove the salivary glands completely before consuming Neptunea contricta.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology