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HOME > J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol > Volume 16(1); 2018 > Article
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
Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology 2018;16(1):25-32
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2018.16.1.25
Published online: June 30, 2018
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1Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center
4Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center
5Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center
6Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center
7Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center
8Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center

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.

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