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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology

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Volume 8(1); 2010
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Methylene Blue
Ji-Young You
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(1):1-6.   Published online June 30, 2010
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Methylene blue is a very effective reducer of drug-induced methemoglobinemia. It has dose-dependent oxidation or reduction properties. In most cases, a dose of 1 to 2 mg/kg IV given over 5 minutes and immediately followed by a 15- to 30-mL fluid flush to minimize the local pain is both effective and relatively safe. The onset of action is quite rapid, and the effects are usually seen within 30 minutes. The dose may be repeated after 30 to 60 minutes and then every 2 to 4 hours as needed. The total dose should not exceed 7 mg/kg as a single dose or 15 mg/kg within 24 hours. Repeated treatment may be needed for treating compounds that have prolonged elimination or those compounds that undergo enterohepatic recirculation (e.g., dapsone). Methylene blue can cause dose-related toxicity. At high doses, methylene blue can also induce an acute hemolytic anemia and rebound methemoglobinemia. The reasons for treatment failure with methylene blue include ineffective GI decontamination, the existence of other forms of hemoglobin (e.g., sulfhemoglobin), a low or high dose of methylene blue and the toxicokinetics of some agents, such as aniline, benzocaine or dapsone.
Epidemiologic Study of Poisoned Patients Who Presented to the Emergency Department of a High end Medical Facility in Seoul 1998~2009
Jae-Hoon Lee, Sang-Hoon Oh, Kyu-Nam Park, Chun-Song Youn, Soo-Hyun Kim, Won-Jung Jeong, Han-Joon Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(1):7-15.   Published online June 30, 2010
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Purpose: There are an insignificant number of studies done on the demographics of intoxication patients and on the characteristics of toxic exposure on a long term basis in Korea. The objective of our survey is to investigate the epidemiologic characteristics of intoxication in a metropolitan emergency department in order to more efficiently manage intoxication patients. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of intoxication patients who visited the emergency department of a high end medical facility between January, 1998 and June, 2009. We investigated the trend of the substances people became intoxicated with during the study period and we analyzed the age, gender, year and distribution of patients and the outcome of the patients. Results: There were 1544 cases of intoxication during the study period, and the cases made up 0.37% of the total visitors to our emergency department, which is a high end medical facility located in the city. Most of the patients were female (70%) in their twenties and thirties. The most commonly ingested intoxication substances were sedatives, analgesics and pesticides. Unlike in the province, antidepressant abuse is on the rise while pesticide abuse is falling. The overall admission rate was 24.8% and the mortality rate was 1.6%. Pesticides intoxication was the most common cause of death (76%). Pesticides intoxication, a male gender and old age were the most significant fatality-related factors. Conclusion: We think that there is a need to investigate the actual conditions of drug intoxication in the city and prepare measures to prevent drug intoxication.
A Study on Organophosphate Poisoning Patients: Comparison of the Survivor Group and Dead Group
Youn-Gyu Choi, Dong-Hyeon Lee, Woo-Hyung Kim, Gang-Wook Lee, Sun-Pyo Kim, Seong-Jung Kim, Soo-Hyung Cho, Nam-Soo Cho
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(1):16-23.   Published online June 30, 2010
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Purpose: Organophosphate insecticide poisoning is common in Korea, but there is no definitive guideline for determining the severity of the poisoning and the predictive factors. Therefore, we evaluated the organophosphate poisoned patients and we divided them into two groups, the survivors and the dead, and the results might be useful for treating organophosphate poisoning patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 68 organophosphate poisoned patients who visited the Chosun University Hospital Emergency Medical Center during a 24-month period from January, 2007 to December, 2008. We made a work sheet of the patients' characteristics and the collected data was analyzed and we compared this data between the survivor group and the dead patient group. Results: There were significant differences between the survivor group and the dead patient group for the mean age, the alcohol intake state and the typically expressed signs. The dead patients had lower blood pressure, tachycardia and a lower Glasgo Coma Score (GCS) score than the survivor group. On the arterial blood gas analysis, the dead patients had more severe acidemia and they had lower saturations. Increased serum amylase levels were found in the dead patients. The survivors'initial and follow up serum pseudocholinesterase activity (after 6~8 days) was significantly higher than that of the dead group. The total amount of atropine injected to patient was less in the survivors than that in the dead patients. Conclusion: Old age and expressing the typical intoxication signs, a lower GCS score and blood pressure, showing acidosis on the gas analysis and low serum cholinesterase activity may be useful as poor prognostic indicators for patients with organophosphate poisoning. We suggest that physicians must pay careful attention to the signs and prognostic factors of organophosphate insecticide poisoned patients.
Clinical Characteristics of Patients with Neonicotinoid Insecticide Poisoning
Jin-Chul Kim, Byung-Hak So, Han-Joon Kim, Hyung-Min Kim, Jung-Ho Park, Se-Min Choi, Kyu-Nam Park, Kyoung-Ho Choi
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(1):24-29.   Published online June 30, 2010
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Purpose: Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used as they have been proven by experimental studies to have low toxicity to mammals, including humans. As the use of neonicotioids increases, the number of patients with neonicotinoid poisoning has also increased. We conducted a study to investigate the clinical manifestations of neonicotinid poisoning. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the patients who ingested neonicotinids and who visited the emergency department located in Korea from March 2002 to February 2010. We reviewed the patients' age, gender, the amount of exposure, the elapsed time to presentation, the treatment and the outcome. According to the poisoning severity score, we divided the patients with a Poisoning severity score (PSS) of 0 or 1 into the mild/moderate toxicity group and the patients with a PSS of 2 or 3 into the severe/fatal toxicity group. Results: A total of 24 patients were analyzed. The most common clinical manifestations of neonicotinoid insecticide toxicity were gastrointestinal symptoms (66.7%) such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain and the others are respiratory symptoms (16.7%), cardiovascular symptoms (12.5%), metabolic imbalance (12.5%), renal dysfunction (8.3%), CNS symptoms (8.3%), and asymptomatic (29.2%). Twenty patients (83.3%) showed mild/moderate toxicity and 4 patients (16.7%) showed fatal conditions such as shock and mutiorgan failure. The mortality rate was 4.2%. In these fatal cases, the patients developed respiratory failure, hypotension, altered mentality and renal failure at the acute stage and they deteriorated to a more serious condition. This severe toxicity was caused by decreased renal excretion of neonicotinid metabolite, and this was improved after hemodialysis. Conclusion: Most patients with neonicotinoid poisoning and who showed mild toxicity usually improved after symptomatic treatment. However, some patients showed significant toxicity with respiratory failure and renal function deterioration, and intensive care needed, including mechanical ventilation and hemodialysis.
Predictors of Anaphylactic Shock in Patients with Anaphylaxis after Exposure to Bee Venom
Hyung-Joo Kim, Sun-Hyu Kim, Hyoung-Do Park, Woo-Youn Kim, Eun-Seog Hong
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(1):30-36.   Published online June 30, 2010
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyze the clinical characteristics of anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock caused by bee venom. Methods: We retrospectively collected the data of the patients who experienced anaphylaxis caused by natural bee sting or acupuncture using bee venom from January 1999 to December 2008. Seventy subjects were divided into the shock and non-shock groups. The clinical characteristics, sources of bee venom, treatments and outcomes were compared between the two groups. Results: The mean age of the subjects was $45.5{pm}16.3$ years old and the number of males was 44 (62.9%). There were 25 patients in the shock group and 45 in the non-shock group. The age was older (p=0.001) and females (p=0.003) were more frequent in the shock group. Transportation to the hospital via ambulance was more frequent in the shock group (p<0.001). No difference was found in species of bee between the two groups. The cephalic area, including the face, was the most common area of bee venom in both groups. Anaphylaxis caused by bee sting commonly occurred between July and October. Cutaneous and respiratory symptoms were the most frequent symptoms related to anaphylaxis. Cardiovascular and neurologic symptoms were more frequent in the shock group. The amount of intravenously administered fluid and subcutaneous injection of epinephrine were much more in the shock group than that in the non-shock group. Conclusion: Older age was the factors related to anaphylactic shock caused by bee venom. Further validation is needed to evaluate the gender factor associated with shock.
The Optimal Length of Time to Observe Patients with Contrast Media Anaphylaxis in the Emergency Department
Sun-Min Hwang, Sung-Hwa Lee, Seok-Ran Yeom, Ji-Ho Ryu, Jin-Woo Jeong, Yong-In Kim, Sang-Kyoon Han
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(1):37-42.   Published online June 30, 2010
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal length of time to observe patients with contrast media anaphylaxis in the Emergency Department. Methods: This study included the patients of all age groups who presented with anaphylaxis due to contrast media to the ED of Pusan National University Hospital from January 2006 to August 2009. The medical records were retrospectively reviewed. We analyzed the 100 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Their median age was 55 (46-62), and 38 out of the 100 patients (38%) were male. Results: The most common symptom of patients was urticaria. Corticosteroid and H1 antihistamine were given to most of the patients in the ED. All were discharged after observation in the ED and none were admitted to the ward. The average time from injection of the contrast media to the onset of symptom was 31 minutes (24-39) and the average time to symptom recovery was 127 minutes (89-188). The mean observation time in the ED was 93 minutes (59-153). Biphasic reactions were reported in only one case (1/100, 1%). Conclusion: These results suggest that patients who present with an anaphylactic reaction after radiologic studies that use intravenous contrast media can be safely discharged early from the ED because the symptom recovery time is not long and a biphasic reaction is rare.
A Case of Chemical Burn Caused by Trifluoroacetic Anhydride that Mimicked a Hydrofluoric Acid Burn
Jung-Soo Park, Hoon Kim, Suk-Woo Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(1):43-45.   Published online June 30, 2010
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A 22-year-old woman was referred to our emergency department for the treatment of a chemical injury on her arm. She had accidentally spilled 99% trifluoroacetic anhydride (TFAA) over her left forearm during an organic chemistry experiment. She visited a primary care unit, and then she was referred to our hospital for inactivation of the released fluoride ions. Her skin lesions were different from those caused by hydrofluoric acid (HF) injury. The injured area showed painful whitish maculae and patchy areas with accentuated rim. No vesiculation and bulla formation was detected. We intradermally injected a 5% solution of calcium through a 24-gauge needle into the burned skin. After the injection, she complained of more severe pain. Although TFAA contains fluorine, it does not release free fluoride ions on contact with the skin, unlike HF. In fact, application of calcium gluconate for TFAA burns is not recommended. Rather, it should be avoided since it increases pain and local abscess formation.
Rhabdomyolysis and Acute Renal Failure Following an Intentional Overdose of Stacker 3 (A Caffeine-Containing Weight-Reduction Supplement)
Mi-Jin Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(1):46-49.   Published online June 30, 2010
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"Stacker 3" is one of the most popular caffeine-containing weight-reduction supplements and it has ephedra-free properties as "Stacker 2 Ephedra-Free" in many countries, including Korea. We describe here a 26-year-old woman who took an acute intentional overdose of "Stacker 3"(approximately 50 capsules, total amount: 25 grams, as caffeine 250 mg/kg) and who had delirium, rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure. She had to be treated by forced diuresis and urine alkalinization, and she subsequently recovered. This is the first such case report in the medical literature.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology