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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology

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Volume 10(2); 2012
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Clinical Characteristics of Intentional Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Min Ki Cho, Yang Weon Kim, Kyeong Ryong Lee, Kyung Woo Lee, Jang Young Lee, Gyu Chong Cho, Junho Cho, Hyun Jong Kim, Seong Hwan Kim, Sung Phil Chung, Hahn Shick Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):73-79.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the changes in the characteristics of patients with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, as well as the distinctive differences in intentionally exposed patients. Methods: The medical records of CO poisoning patients, who visited nine emergency departments between January 2010 and December 2011, were reviewed retrospectively. The clinical information including age, gender, hospitalization, type of discharge, cause and location of exposure, site of onset, concentration of initial blood carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), methods of treatment and presence of neurological complications was examined. The subjects were divided into an intentional and non-intentional group and the differences between them was compared. Results: A total 209 subjects were recruited. The median age was 38 years (29~49.5 years). They frequently complained of nausea and vomiting, and the most common exposures occurred in winter, normally in the home. The cause of exposure was usually fire, followed by incomplete combustion of fuels. The median initial blood COHb was 13.15%. The proportion of intentionally exposed patients was 21%. They were significantly younger, more frequently discharged against medical advice, and showed a higher initial blood COHb level (22.85%) than the non-intentional group. Conclusion: This study suggests that those with intentional CO poisoning are normally discharged against medical advice even when they have a higher initial COHb level. An adequate explanation of the delayed neurologic sequelae and short term follow-up observation is recommended for those patients with intentional exposure.
Recent Epidemiologic Features of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Korea: A Single Center Retrospective Cohort Study
Byung Ho Choi, Jin Jeon, Seung Mok Ryoo, Dong Woo Seo, Won Young Kim, Bum Jin Oh, Kyoung Soo Lim, Chang Hwa Sohn
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):80-85.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiologic characteristics of adult patients with carbon monoxide poisoning who presented to the emergency department in recent years. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study on adult consecutive patients with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning who presented to the emergency department of a tertiary care university-affiliated hospital from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2011. Results: A total of 91 patients were included in this study; there were 56(61.5%) unintentional and 35(38.5%) intentional poisonings. For the unintentional CO poisonings, the principal sources of exposure to CO were fire (39.3%), charcoal (17.9%), briquette charcoal (7.1%), wood burning boiler (7.1%), gas boiler (5.4%), automobile heater (3.6%), briquette boiler (3.6%), firewood (3.6%), and other items (12.5%). For the intentional CO poisonings, the sources were ignition charcoal (60.0%), briquette (31.4%), charcoal (5.7%) and butane gas (2.9%). For the unintentional CO poisonings, the places of poisoning were the home (58.9%), workplace (10.7%), public accommodation (8.9%), tent (8.9%), automobile (3.6%) and parking place (1.8%). For the intentional CO poisonings, the places of poisoning were the home (77.1%), public accommodation (11.4%) and automobile (11.4%). The proportion of intentional CO poisonings among total poisonings has increased significantly in recent years; 0.0% in 2008, 3.3% in 2009, 5.5% in 2010, and 29.7% in 2011. Conclusion: This study showed that in recent years in Korea, the source of CO has diversified broadly and intentional CO poisonings from burning ignition charcoal or briquettes has increased. Prevention efforts should consider these factors.
Clinical Features of Pokeweed Intoxication Experienced in a University Hospital
Dong Kil Jeong, Hyung Jun Moon, Jung Won Lee, Sae Hoon Park, Hyung Jung Lee, Seung Whan Seol, Ah Reum Kim, Jae Hyung Choi, Jae Woo Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):86-90.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Purpose: Although Pokeweed intoxication is relatively less severe, there is little data on the clinical presentation of Pokeweed intoxication in Korea. This study examined the clinical aspects to provide basic data for evaluating Pokeweed intoxication. Methods: A retrospective study by a chart review was performed on 19 patients who ingested Pokeweed and presented to an academic emergency department with an annual census of 40,000 between March 2012 and May 2012. Results: Nineteen patients were identified. All patients were intoxicated unintentionally. The most common symptoms were vomiting with diarrhea and abdominal pain. The onset time varied, but occurs 30 minutes to 5 hours post ingestion of Pokeweed. All patients were discharged without fatal complications. Conclusion: Compared to previous reports, most pokeweed poisoning patients complain of gastrointestinal symptoms. Supportive care is the mainstay of the management of pokeweed intoxication. All symptoms were resolved over a 24 to 48 hour period.
The Clinical Characteristics and Prognosis after Acute Ingestion of Glacial Acetic Acid
Gab-Yong Choi, Young-Gi Min, Yoon-Seok Jung, Joon-Pil Cho, Sang-Cheon Choi
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):91-96.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Purpose: A retrospective study with a literature review was conducted to identify the clinical characteristics and prognosis after the acute ingestion of glacial acetic acid. Methods: The medical records of 20 patients,who had presented to the emergency department of Ajou University Hospital complaining of the acute ingestion of glacial acetic acid between January 2006 and December 2011, were examined retrospectively. Results: Among the 172 patients admitted for caustics injury, 20 patients ingested glacial acetic acid. The mean age of the patients was $55{pm}23.5$, and the mean volume of the acid was $84.5{pm}71.3$ ml. The clinical features included 1) oral ulcers in 12 patients (63.2%), 2) respiratory difficulties in 11 patients (57.9%), 3) oliguria in 8 patients (42.1%), 4) renal toxicity in 7 patients (36.8%), 5) hepatic failure in 7 patients (36.8%), 6) disseminated intravascular boagulopathyin 7 patients (36.8%), 7) low blood pressure in 8 patients (42.1%), and 8) mental changes in 9 patients (47.4%). Ten patients required endotracheal intubation. Nine patients were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 5 patients expired. Conclusion: The ingestion of glacial acetic acid can cause severe symptoms, such as metabolic acidosis, multiple organ failure and upper airway swelling frequently and has a high mortality rate. Therefore, aggressive treatment, including endotracheal intubation, should be considered at the early stages.
Oral vs. Intravenous Administration of N-acetylcysteine in the Acetaminophen Poisoning
Hyo Ju Chae, Nu Ga Rhee, Hyun Jong Kim, Je Sung You, Sung Phil Chung, Hahn Shick Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):97-102.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Purpose: Serious acetaminophen (AAP) poisoning causes hepatotoxicity. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is the most effective therapy for AAP poisoning and can be administered orally and intravenously (IV). Several studies have compared the efficacy of these two routes of administration and the results have been controversial. The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of oral and IV NAC for the prevention of hepatic toxicity in Korean patients whose serum AAP levels were higher than normal. Methods: A retrospective before/after study was performed, in which the patients presented to the emergency department with an AAP overdose from February 1995 to March 2012. A 3-day oral NAC regimen was used in the beginning, and a 20-hr intravenous regimen was then used from 2007. This study assessed the complications of an AAP overdose, such as hepatotoxicity, hepatic failure and renal failure as well as the side effects of the treatment regimen. Results: A total of 41patients was enrolled in this study. The median ALT and AST were 63 (IU/L) and 57 (IU/L) for the oral NAC treated patients, and 14 (IU/L) and 20 (IU/L) for the IV NAC treated patients (p=0.004 and p=0.001, respectively). The incidence of complications was similar in the treatment groups (p=0.399). Among the patients, 7 patients developed hepatotoxicity and were treated successfully with oral or IV NAC. Conclusion: This study suggests that IV NAC and oral NAC can prevent and successfully treat hepatic toxicity in patients whose serum AAP levels are higher than normal.
Cardiovascular Manifestations and Clinical Course after Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
In Soo Lee, Yoon Seok Jung, Young Gi Min, Gi Woon Kim, Sang Cheon Choi
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):103-110.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardiovascular manifestations and clinical course in patients with acute carbon monoxide poisoning. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted over a 36 month period on consecutive patients who visited an emergency medical center and were diagnosed with acute carbon monoxide poisoning. A standardized data extraction protocol was performed on the selected patients. Results: A total of 293 patients were selected during the study period. Cardiac manifestations were observed in 35.2% (n=103) of the patients: hypotension in 11 patients (3.8%), ECG abnormalities in 44 patients (15.0%) and cardiac enzyme abnormalities in 103 patients (35.2%). Echo cardiography was performed on 56 patients with cardiac toxicity: 12 patients had abnormal results (5 patients with global hypokinesia and 7 patients with regional wall akinesia). Five patients died within 3 hours after ED admission, and the remaining patients were discharged alive. At 3 months after discharge, none of these patients had died.The SOFA scores in the severe cardiac toxicity group and non-severe cardiac toxicity group at the time of arrival were $2.53{pm}2.29$ and $2.19{pm}2.12$, respectively (p=0.860). Conclusion: Cardiovascular manifestations occur after acute CO poisoning at arateof 35.2%. Even those with severe cardiovascular toxicity recovered well within 10 days after admission. Therefore, the importance of cardiac toxicity after acute CO poisoning is not significant in itself in the clinical course, and the short-term prognosis of cardiac toxicity is unlikely to be unfavorable in acute CO poisoning.
16 Cases of Anti-obesity Drug Intoxication Experienced in 4 Emergency Departments
Sung Hoon Han, Byung Hak So, Won Joong Jung, Hyung Min Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):111-117.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Purpose: In Korea, few studies have examined the acute toxicity of anti-obesity drugs. The purpose of this study is to analyze the general characteristics and clinical aspect of acute anti-obesity drug intoxication. Methods: We retrospectively investigated patients admitted to the emergency department after anti-obesity drug intoxication between March, 2004 and February, 2012. The medical records of these patients were reviewed for demographic data, toxicologic history, time elapsed to presentation, clinical symptoms and signs, treatment, and outcome. Results: There were a total of 18 anti-obesity intoxication cases during the study period; of 16 which were included in our study. The purchasing route of the anti-obesity drug was mainly through a doctor's prescription (68.8%), however, some were obtained through the internet and the pharmacies. The mean time to The most commonly ingested antiobesity drug was sibutramine (31.3%) and many of the cases (62.5%) were multi-drug ingestions. The most common clinical manifestations were gastrointestinal symptoms (94%), but, CNS symptoms (75%) and cardiovascular symptoms (75%) were almost equally present. 13 patients (81%) were discharged after clearance of toxic symptoms and signs with a mean observational period of 7.0 hours. 3 patients were admitted for observation and treatment; of which 1 patient died due to fatal complications. Conclusion: Most anti-obesity intoxications show mild toxicity and a nonfatal clinical course. However, the recent trend toward prescribing psychostimulant anti-obesity medication, which can be fatal after an acute overdose, calls physicians' attention to treating of anti-obesity intoxications.
A Case of Multi-organ Failure due to Acute Chromic Acid Poisoning
Hyun Min Jung, Hee Min Eun, Jin Hui Paik, Ji Hye Kim, Jun Sig Kim, Seung Baik Han
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):118-121.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Chromic acid is a strong metal acid and acute poisoning is very rare. However, chromic acid causes serious complications, such as skin injuries, as well as renal and hepatic failure. We report on a case of a 47-year-old male who accidentally had chromic acid spilled over his nose and face. For the first few days, he was treated with ascorbic acid and massive hydration. However, after three days, his condition began to worsen. He was treated with hemodialysis for anuria and acute renal failure, and antibiotics for pneumonia. On day 10 of hospitalization, he expired of multi-organ failure. We suggest firm control and close supervision of chromic acid in the work place, and, considering severe complications of chromic acid, we propose a nearly and aggressive treatment.
Two Cases of Alocasia Intoxication
Dae Han Wi
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(2):122-125.   Published online December 31, 2012
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Alocasia was originally distributed throughout subtropical and tropical areas. Recently, in Korea, it has been used in air cleaners and in control of humidity. Despite easy access in Korea, there are few reports on Alocasia toxicity. We report on two cases of Alocasia intoxication. One patient was a 16-month-old male, who was admitted with a complaint of irritability after biting leaves of Alocasia. Four hours later, he was discharged without any symptoms. Another patient, a 52-year-old female, complained of oral pain, numbness on the perioral area, dysphonia, swallowing difficulty, and chest and abdominal pain after eating root stuck of alocasia odora. She underwent gastrointestinal fibroscopy (GIF) due to lasting chest and abdominal pain. Finding on GIF showed erythema and swelling in the aryepiglottic fold and larynx. Her symptoms lasted 13 days; she was then discharged without any complications or sequelae.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology