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Comparative Analysis of decreased Mental state Patients after Overdose with Sedative-hypnotics
Seung Jae Oh, Soo Hyung Cho, So Yeon Ryu
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2022;20(1):8-14.   Published online June 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2022.20.1.8
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Purpose: This study was undertaken to investigate how sedative-hypnotics affect the occurrence and severity of the patient's symptoms. In addition, we conducted a study to determine the type of patients who reacted severely and required hospitalization; patients were accordingly classified as hospitalized patients and patients discharged from the emergency room. Methods: From January 2017 to December 2019, we investigated the demographics, drug information, history, laboratory tests, and severity of patients who visited our emergency department and were diagnosed with benzodiazepine, zolpidem, and doxylamine succinate overdose. We further compared details of hospitalized patients and discharged patients. Results: Subjects who had overdosed and visited the ED included 120 for benzodiazepine, 147 for zolpidem, and 27 for doxylamine succinate. Comparisons between the three groups revealed differences in their early diagnosis, psychiatric history, and sleep disturbance. Differences between groups were also determined for mental state, poisoning history, treatment received in the intensive care unit, and intubation and ventilator support. In cases of benzodiazepine overdose, we obtained a high hospitalization rate (40.0%), admission to the intensive care unit (24.2%), and intubation rate (18.3%). Comparisons between hospitalized patients and discharged groups showed differences in transferred patients, early diagnosis, and mental state. Conclusion: Patients poisoned by sedative-hypnotics are increasing every year. In cases of benzodiazepine and zolpidem, the hospitalization rates were high, and benzodiazepine overdose resulted in hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, and pneumonia in a majority of cases. Therefore, active treatment and quick decisions in the emergency room are greatly required.
The Prognosis of Glyphosate herbicide intoxicated patients according to their salt types
Min Gyu Jeong, Kyoung Tak Keum, Seongjun Ahn, Yong Hwan Kim, Jun Ho Lee, Kwang Won Cho, Seong Youn Hwang, Dong Woo Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(2):83-92.   Published online December 31, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.2.83
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Purpose: Glyphosate herbicide (GH) is a widely used herbicide and has been associated with significant mortality as poisoned cases increases. One of the reasons for high toxicity is thought to be toxic effect of its ingredient with glyphosate. This study was designed to determine differences in the clinical course with the salt-type contained in GH. Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted at a single hospital between January 2013 and December 2017. We enrolled GH-poisoned patients visited the emergency department. According to salt-type, patients were divided into 4 groups: isopropylamine (IPA), ammonium (Am), potassium (Po), and mixed salts (Mi) groups. The demographics, laboratory variables, complications, and their mortality were analyzed to determine clinical differences associated with each salt-type. Addtionally, we subdivided patients into survivor and non-survivor groups for investigating predictive factors for the mortality. Results: Total of 348 GH-poisoned patients were divided as follows: IPA 248, Am 41, Po 10, and Mi 49 patients. There was no difference in demographic or underlying disease history, but systolic blood pressure (SBP) was low in Po group. The ratio of intentional ingestion was higher in Po and Mi groups. Metabolic acidosis and relatively high lactate level were presented in Po group. As the primary outcome, the mortality rates were as follows: IPA, 26 (10.5%); Am, 2 (4.9%); Po, 1 (10%); and Mi, 1 (2%). There was no statistically significant difference in the mortality and the incidence of complications. Additionally, age, low SBP, low pH, corrected QT (QTc) prolongation, and respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation were analyzed as independent predictors for mortality in a regression analysis. Conclusion: There was no statistical difference in their complications and the mortality across the GH-salt groups in this study.

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  • Association between continuous renal replacement therapy and mortality after acute herbicide (glyphosate and/or glufosinate) intoxication: propensity score matching approach
    Seung Woo Lee, Won-joon Jeong, Seung Ryu, Yongchul Cho, Yeonho You, Jung Soo Park, Changshin Kang, Hong Joon Ahn, So Young Jeon, Jinwoong Lee
    Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology.2023; 21(1): 17.     CrossRef
The Significance of the Strong Ion Gap in Predicting Acute Kidney Injury and In-hospital Mortality in Critically Ill Patients with Acute Poisoning
Tae Jin Sim, Jae Wan Cho, Mi Jin Lee, Haewon Jung, Jungbae Park, Kang Suk Seo
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(2):72-82.   Published online December 31, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.2.72
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Purpose: A high anion gap (AG) is known to be a significant risk factor for serious acid-base imbalances and death in acute poisoning cases. The strong ion difference (SID), or strong ion gap (SIG), has recently been used to predict in-hospital mortality or acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome. This study presents a comprehensive acid-base analysis in order to identify the predictive value of the SIG for disease severity in severe poisoning. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted on acute poisoning patients treated in the emergency intensive care unit (ICU) between December 2015 and November 2020. Initial serum electrolytes, base deficit (BD), AG, SIG, and laboratory parameters were concurrently measured upon hospital arrival and were subsequently used along with Stewart's approach to acid-base analysis to predict AKI development and in-hospital death. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and logistic regression analysis were used as statistical tests. Results: Overall, 343 patients who were treated in the intensive care unit were enrolled. The initial levels of lactate, AG, and BD were significantly higher in the AKI group (n=62). Both effective SID [SIDe] (20.3 vs. 26.4 mEq/L, p<0.001) and SIG (20.2 vs. 16.5 mEq/L, p<0.001) were significantly higher in the AKI group; however, the AUC of serum SIDe was 0.842 (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.799-0.879). Serum SIDe had a higher predictive capacity for AKI than initial creatinine (AUC=0.796, 95% CI=0.749-0.837), BD (AUC=0.761, 95% CI=0.712-0.805), and AG (AUC=0.660, 95% CI=0.607-0.711). Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that diabetes, lactic acidosis, high SIG, and low SIDe were significant risk factors for in-hospital mortality. Conclusion: Initial SIDe and SIG were identified as useful predictors of AKI and in-hospital mortality in intoxicated patients who were critically ill. Further research is necessary to evaluate the physiological nature of the toxicant or unmeasured anions in such patients.
A satisfaction survey of toxicological laboratory: Survey of regional and local emergency medical centers
Dong Woo Son, Ji Hun Kang, Yang Weon Kim, Chul Ho Park, Yoo Sang Yoon, Jae Gu Ji
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(2):110-126.   Published online December 31, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.2.110
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to find out the current status of toxicology laboratory operated by six locations nationwide and to investigate the satisfaction of emergency medical professionals who working at local and regional emergency medical centers. Methods: This survey was conducted prospective. It was conducted on 665 emergency medical professionals working at regional and regional emergency medical centers across the South Korea. Among them, the analysis was conducted with data that 510 emergency medical professionals who respond to this survey. The questionnaire was conducted on an online basis for a month. To ensure statistical significance, consider a dropout rate of 10% based on a minimum response recovery rate of 70%. 506 people were selected for the survey. Results: According to a survey on the status of addiction analysis room usage, the average monthly usage of addiction test rooms among respondents were 406 cases.71.0 cases (17.4%) of toxicology laboratory in Seoul and 71 cases (17.4%) in Gwangju. 32 cases (7.8%), 118 cases (29.0%) requested by toxicology laboratory in Busan, and the toxicology laboratory in Daegu. Eighty two cases (20.1%), Daejeon area 25 cases (6.1%), Wonju area toxicology laboratory was 78 (19.6%). According to a survey on the satisfaction of the addiction analysis room,Seoul (4.9±2.71) and Gwangju (4.8±2.52) showed high satisfaction. Conclusion: Due to the limited operation time of the four addiction analysis rooms currently in operation, the satisfaction level of addiction analysis by emergency medical professionals in the area is low due to the delay until the result is notified.

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  • Changes in deoxyhemoglobin and admission duration in carbon monoxide poisoning patients: a retrospective study
    Jae Gu Ji, Yang Weon Kim, Chul Ho Park, Yoo Sang Yoon, Yundeok Jang, JI-Hun Kang, Chang Min Park, Sang Hyeon Park
    Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology.2023; 21(1): 32.     CrossRef
Use of succimer as an alternative antidote in copper sulfate poisoning: A case report
Sang Kyoon Han, Sung Wook Park, Young Mo Cho, Il Jae Wang, Byung Kwan Bae, Seok Ran Yeom, Soon Chang Park
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(1):59-63.   Published online June 30, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.1.59
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Copper sulfate is widely used as a fungicide and pesticide. Acute copper sulfate poisoning is rare but potentially lethal in severe cases. Copper sulfate can lead to cellular damage of red blood cells, hepatocytes, and myocytes. Toxic effects include intravascular hemolysis, acute tubular necrosis and, rhabdomyolysis. A 76-year-old man presented with vomiting and epigastric pain. He had ingested a copper-containing fungicide (about 13.5 g of copper sulfate) while attempting suicide 2 hours prior to presentation. From day 3 at the hospital, laboratory findings suggesting intravascular hemolysis were noted with increased serum creatinine level. He was treated with a chelating agent, dimercaptosuccinic acid (succimer). His anemia and acute kidney injury gradually resolved with a 19-day regimen of succimer. Our case suggests that succimer can be used for copper sulfate poisoning when other chelating agents are not available.
Laboratory analysis of acute acetaminophen overdose patients in Emergency Medical Centers: including analysis of one toxicological laboratory data
In Chan Kim, Sinae Won, Arum Lee, Haeun Jung, Jeongsun Lee, Bum Jin Oh
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(1):31-37.   Published online June 30, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.1.31
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Purpose: Acetaminophen (APAP) is a widely available drug responsible for a large part of drug-induced hepatotoxicity in developed countries. Although acetaminophen overdose cases in Korea are being continuously reported, there are no reports related to the level of this drug in the patient's blood or of laboratory analysis at emergency departments (ED). This study sought to analyze the acetaminophen overdose cases at a toxicological laboratory and to survey APAP analysis services offered at select EDs. Methods: We analyzed the demographic and analytic data at a toxicological laboratory run by the National Emergency Medical Center (NMC) in 2019-2020. We surveyed the APAP laboratory service in the 38 regional emergency medical centers (EMCs) and 68 local EMCs near the toxicological laboratory. Results: We studied 175 acute poisoning cases (112 women) with positive blood APAP results (mean age 47.0±24.1 years). Suicide attempts comprised 40.0% of the cases and 30.3% APAP overdose events. In the univariate analysis, we observed that patients were significantly younger, with fewer underlying medical diseases. There were a higher number of APAP overdose events, more favorable initial mental status, more toxic quantity intake in the above treatment line group (p<0.05), In multivariate analysis, the toxic amount intake was significantly more frequent in the above treatment line group (p<0.01). Hospital APAP analysis services were available in six EMCs (3/38 regional and 3/68 local). The hospital blood APAP level reporting intervals were shorter than outside-hospital laboratory services (p<0.01, regional 7.0±3.0 vs. 40.6±27.5, local 5.3±3.1 vs. 57.9±45.1 hours). The NMC toxicological laboratory reporting interval was shorter than the other outside-hospital laboratories (p<0.01, regional 5.7±0.6 vs. 50.2±22.7 local 7.5±3.0 vs. 70.5±41.5 hours). Conclusion: Over the treatment line group, toxic amount intake was significantly more frequent. Only six of 106 EMCs have their own APAP analysis service in their hospitals.
Factors of Determining N-acetylcysteine Administration in Patients with Acute Acetaminophen Poisoning
Jeong Hwa Lee, Sangchun Choi, Sang Kyu Yoon, Kyu Cheol Shin
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2020;18(2):78-84.   Published online December 31, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2020.18.2.78
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Purpose: In acute acetaminophen poisoning, the administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) can effectively treat the main complications, such as kidney injury and liver failure. In the current situation, measurements of the acetaminophen concentration are not checked in the usual medical facilities. Therefore, this study examined the factors of determining the administration of NAC in addition to the stated amount of intake. Methods: The medical records of patients who visited Ajou University Hospital emergency center with acetaminophen poisoning from January 2015 to December 2019 were reviewed retrospectively. One hundred and seventy-nine patients were initially included. Among these patients, 82 patients were finally selected according to the inclusion criteria in the study. The inclusion criteria were as follows: patients who were 15 years of age or older; those whose ingested dose, ingested time, and body weight were clearly identified; and patients whose acetaminophen sampling time was within 24 hours. Patients were divided into two groups: NAC administered vs. non-NAC administered. The following variables were compared in these two groups: ingested dose, ingested dose per body weight, hospital arrival time after ingestion, suicide attempt history, psychiatric disease history, classification of toxic/non-toxic groups, duration of hospitalization, and laboratory results. Results: Univariate analysis revealed the ingested dose per body weight, hospital arrival time after ingestion, suicide attempt history, and psychiatric disease history to be the determining factors in administering NAC. Logistic regression analysis confirmed that the ingested dose per body weight was the only significant factor leading to an NAC treatment decision. (Odds ratio=1.039, 95% Confidential interval=1.009-1.070, p=0.009) Conclusion: The ingested dose per body weight was the only determining factor for administering NAC in patients with acute acetaminophen poisoning. On the other hand, additional criteria or indicators for the NAC administration decision will be necessary considering the inaccuracy of the ingested dose per body weight and the efficiency of NAC administration.
Associations between Early Hyperoxia and Long Term Neurologic Outcome in Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Ju Chan Kim, Byeong Jo Chun, Jeong Mi Moon, Young Soo Cho
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2020;18(1):18-25.   Published online June 30, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2020.18.1.18
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Purpose: We studied the impact of arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) on the long term neurologic outcome in patients with acute carbon monoxide poisoning. Methods: The study population included 311 patients who presented to emergency department with acute CO poisoning from January 2015 to January 2018. These patients underwent arterial blood gas testing at the time of presentation. The baseline demographic, clinical, laboratory, and clinical outcome data were recorded. The primary outcome of interest was the long term neurologic status. Results: The normoxia group was significantly older and it had a higher incidence of diffusion weighted MRI abnormality, and this group needed multiple HBO sessions compared to the group with moderate or severe hyperoxia. Also, the incidence of altered mentality at discharge was higher in the normoxia group than that of the moderate hyperoxia group. The incidence of a poor long term neurologic outcome was 11.3%. The incidence of a poor long term neurologic outcome decreased as the PaO2 increased. The PaO2 was significantly lower in patients with a poor long term neurologic outcome than that of the patients with a good outcome 198 (165.2 to 231.1) mmHg in the good outcome group vs. 154 (119-162) mmHg in poor outcome, p<0.001). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, PaO2 was selected as an independent factor of the poor long-term neurologic outcome (OR 0.981 (95% CI: 0.968 to 0.995)) Conclusion: Higher PaO2 was independently associated with a lower incidence of a poor long-term neurologic outcome.
Zolpidem Detection and Blood Level in Acute Poisoning-suspected Patients in Emergency Departments: Review of 229 Cases
Jaehyung Yu, Hanseok Chang, Sinae Won, Jeonghun Yeom, Arum Lee, Na-Youn Park, Bum Jin Oh
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2019;17(2):118-125.   Published online December 31, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2019.17.2.118
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Purpose: Non-benzodiazepine hypnotic drugs (including zolpidem) are associated with an increased risk of suicide and suicidal ideation. Considering the wide usage of zolpidem, this drug should be considered a possible etiology for stupor or coma in any patient exposed to this drug. However, there are no reports on zolpidem blood levels in emergency department patients in Korea. We therefore reviewed the analyzed data of a toxicology laboratory at one university affiliated hospital. Methods: The sex, age, chief symptoms, suspiciousness of poisoning, and presumption of poison were analyzed from January 2018 to June 2019. The detection frequency and level of zolpidem in the patient blood were compared to the mental changes presented, which is the main consequence of zolpidem. Results: A total of 229 toxicological analyses, requested to a toxicological laboratory at one university affiliated hospital, were reviewed. Among 229 patients, the mean age was 54.3±20.7 years old with 113 women and 116 men. 8.7% of patients have psychiatric illness and 39.7% were poisoned intentionally. The chief symptoms detected were: mental change 55.0%, gastrointestinal 14.4%, cardiovascular 10.5%, focal neurological 7.4%, respiratory 3.5%, none 8.7%, and unknown 0.4%. A request for detailed reports revealed that causative poisons were specified only in 20.1% cases. Zolpidem was detected in 22.3% cases (51/229), with median blood level 1.26 mg/L (interquartile 0.1, 5.06 mg/L) and urine 0.90 mg/L (interquartile 0.11, 5.6 mg/L). Furthermore, zolpidem was more frequently detected in toxicology analysis of patients where mental change was the primary symptom, as compared to other symptoms (32.5% vs. 9.7%, p<0.01). Conclusion: This study reported the blood level of zolpidem in suspected poisoning patients admitted to the emergency department.
Symptomatic Hypocalcemia Associated with Dioscorea tokoro Toxicity
Jae Chol Yoon, Jae Baek Lee, Tae Oh Jeong, Si On Jo, Young Ho Jin
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2019;17(1):42-45.   Published online June 30, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2019.17.1.42
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Dioscorea tokoro has long been used in Korean traditional medicine as a pain killer and anti-inflammatory agent. A 53-year-old male who consumed water that had been boiled with raw tubers of D. tokoro as tea presented with numbness and spasm of both hands and feet. Laboratory results showed hypocalcemia, hypoparathyroidism, and vitamin D insufficiency. During his hospital stay, colitis, acute kidney injury, and toxic encephalopathy developed. The patient received calcium gluconate intravenous infusion and oral calcium carbonate with alfacalcidol. His symptoms improved gradually, but hypocalcemia persisted despite the calcium supplementation. We suggest that ingestion of inappropriately prepared D. tokoro can cause symptomatic hypocalcemia in patients with unbalanced calcium homeostasis.
Evaluation of Cut-off Values in Acute Acetaminophen Intoxication Following the Revised Guideline of the United Kingdom
Sung Jin Park, Kyungman Cha, Byung Hak So, Hyung Min Kim, Won Jung Jeoung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2018;16(2):68-74.   Published online December 31, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2018.16.2.68
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Purpose: In 2012, a revised guideline for acute acetaminophen overdose was proposed in the UK, recommending that the treatment threshold should be lowered to 100 mcg/ml at 4 hours after ingestion without risk stratification of hepatotoxicity. However, the poison centers in some developing countries do not have laboratory resources to provide serum drug levels in time. The primary aim of the study is to evaluate the cut-off value of reported dose per kilogram to determine when N-acetylcysteine treatment is warranted under the revised guideline. Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from the toxicology registry of an urban emergency medical center between 1st January 2010 and 30th June 2017. Inclusion criteria were single acute overdose of more than 75 mg/kg in 15 hours from ingestion and over 14 years of age. Subgroups were created by 25 mg/kg increments of reported dose, then sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were calculated for the cut-off values of 100 mg/kg, 125 mg/kg, 150 mg/kg and 175 mg/kg for toxic serum level over '100-treatment line'. Results: A total of 99 patients were enrolled in the study; 24 patients showed toxic serum levels (24.2%). Zero of 17 patients with an ingestion dose under 100 mg/kg showed toxic level (0%), and 0 of 15 under 125 mg/kg (0%), 2 of 14 under 150 mg/kg (14.3%), and 4 of 12 under 175 mg/kg (33.3%) had toxic levels. The higher the ingested dose per kilogram of weight, the higher the frequency of the toxic serum concentration on the first test (${chi}^2$ test for trend, ${chi}^2=22.66$, p-value<0.001) and the sensitivity of each value was 100%, 100%, 92% and 76%. Conclusion: In acute single acetaminophen intoxication, the ingestion dose of 100 mg/kg of weight will be useful in determining the need for the N-acetylcysteine antidote in the indigent laboratory environment.
Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte Ratio as A Predictor of Aspiration Pneumonia in Drug Intoxication Patients
Jeong Beom Lee, Sun Hwa Lee, Seong Jong Yun, Seokyong Ryu, Seung Woon Choi, Hye Jin Kim, Tae Kyung Kang, Sung Chan Oh, Suk Jin Cho, Beom Sok Seo
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2018;16(2):61-67.   Published online December 31, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2018.16.2.61
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Purpose: To evaluate the association between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and occurrence of aspiration pneumonia in drug intoxication (DI) patients in the emergency department (ED) and to evaluate the relationship between NLR and length of hospital admission/intensive care unit (ICU) admission Methods: A total of 466 patients diagnosed with DI in the ED from January 2016 to December 2017 were included in the analysis. The clinical and laboratory results, including NLR, were evaluated as variables. NLR was calculated as the absolute neutrophil count/absolute lymphocyte count. To evaluate the prognosis of DI, data on the development of aspiration pneumonia were obtained. Also, we evaluated the relationship between NLR and length of hospital admission and between NLR and length of ICU admission. Statistically, multivariate logistic regression analyses, receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, and Pearson's correlation (${ ho}$) were performed. Results: Among the 466 DI patients, 86 (18.5%) developed aspiration pneumonia. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed NLR as an independent factor in predicting aspiration pneumonia (odds ratio, 1.7; p=0.001). NLR showed excellent predictive performance for aspiration pneumonia (areas under the ROC curves, 0.815; cut-off value, 3.47; p<0.001) with a sensitivity of 86.0% and a specificity of 72.6%. No correlations between NLR and length of hospital admission (${ ho}=0.195$) and between NLR and length of ICU admission (${ ho}=0.092$) were observed. Conclusion: The NLR is a simple and effective marker for predicting the occurrence of aspiration pneumonia in DI patients. Emergency physicians should be alert for aspiration pneumonia in DI patients with high NLR value (>3.47).
A Clinical Review of Patients Who Visited Emergency Medical Center with Positive Methamphetamine Tests: A Single Institute Study
Young Bin Ok, Jin Yong Kim, Kyeong Ryong Lee, Dae Young Hong, Kwang Je Baek, Sang O Park, Jong Won Kim, Sin Young Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2018;16(1):25-32.   Published online June 30, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2018.16.1.25
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Purpose: Methamphetamine is an ongoing illegal drug problem worldwide, and its use in South Korea has spread over the last few years. In this study, a clinical review of patients who visited emergency medical centers with positive methamphetamine tests was conducted. Methods: Patients underwent methamphetamine screening based on physician suspicion over a period of 13 years. Their patient characteristics, clinical features, and drug administration properties were described. Results: A total of 297 patients were included, with 19 positive methamphetamine results. Patient age ranged from 21 to 84, with a mean of 37.52. Additionally, 13 were male and 6 were female. The mean BP, PR, RR were 131/82 mmHg, 94/min, 20/min. Saturation levels were all over 95%. Five patients had a psychiatric history. Patient showed varied symptoms ranging from mental changes to chest discomfort. In addition, seven showed abnormal electrocardiography findings and one showed elevated cardiac enzyme levels. Other laboratory results revealed no significantly abnormal results. Six patients also suffered from related trauma. The majority of patients consumed the methamphetamine orally, with unknown motivation at unknown locations. Most were transported by 119 and six patients co-ingested other drugs. Conclusion: Patients who showed positive results to a methamphetamine screening test in Korea visited the emergency medical center mostly by 119 and were unaware of or reluctant to reveal the fact that they had ingested methamphetamine. Emergency physicians should be more aware of the possibility that a patient may have consumed methamphetamine.
Is it Adequate to Determine Acetaminophen Toxicity Solely on Patients' History? An Analysis on Clinical Manifestation of Intoxication Patients with Positive Serum Acetaminophen Concentrations
Jee Hyun Kim, Won-joon Jeong, Seung Ryu, Yong Chul Cho, Jang Hyuck Moon, Hyun Soo Choi, Song Hee Yang, Hee Sun Chung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(2):94-100.   Published online December 31, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.2.94
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Purpose: Acute acetaminophen intoxication is a common occurrence that can cause lethal complications. In most domestic emergency departments, clinicians tend to treat acetaminophen intoxication based on patients' history alone, simply due to the lack of a rapid acetaminophen laboratory test. We performed a 20-month study of intoxication patients to determine the correlation between the history of patients and serum laboratory tests for acetaminophen. Methods: We took blood samples from 280 intoxication patients to evaluate whether laboratory findings detected traces of acetaminophen in the sample. Patients were then treated according to their history. Laboratory results came out after patients' discharge. Agreement between patients' history and laboratory results were analyzed. Results: Among the 280 intoxicated patients enrolled, 38 patients had positive serum acetaminophen concentrations; 18 out of 38 patients did not represent a history suggesting acetaminophen intoxication. One patient without the history showed toxic serum acetaminophen concentration. Among the patients with the history, two patients with toxic serum acetaminophen concentration did not receive N-acetylcysteine (NAC) treatment due to their low reported doses, while other 2 patients without significant serum acetaminophen concentration did receive NAC treatment due to their high reported doses. Conclusion: This study showed a good overall agreement between history and laboratory test results. However, some cases showed inconsistencies between their history and laboratory test results. Therefore, in treating intoxication patients, a laboratory test of acetaminophen with rapid results should be available in most domestic emergency departments.
Analysis of Death Due to Poisoning in the National Capital Region (2014-2016)
Meejung Park, Jongsin Park, Sangki Lee, Sangwhan In
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(2):101-106.   Published online December 31, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.2.101
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Purpose: This study examined the patterns of drugs, poisons, and chemicals detected in autopsy samples performed in the Seoul Institute and other regional forensic offices of the National Forensic Service (NFS) between 2014 and 2016. Methods: The investigation carried out using the laboratory information management system. Forensic toxicological identification and quantitation were performed in autopsy samples, including heart blood, peripheral blood, liver, kidney, vitreous humor and etc. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were used to analyze the drugs and poisons. Results: Forensic autopsies were performed on 9,674 cases in this period. Based on the autopsy reports, 699 cases (7.2%) were considered as unnatural deaths caused by fatal intoxication. The number of male deaths was higher than that of female deaths, with the age of 50-59 being the most common age group. Conclusion: Drugs comprised the largest number of deaths due to poison, followed by alcohol, agrochemicals, drug with alcohol, carbon monoxide, and cyanide, in that order. Zolpidem was the most frequently used drug in all drug-related intoxication cases.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology