Treating Drug Overdose and Poisoning
Poisoning is an injury or a death due to swallowing, inhaling, touching or injecting various drugs, chemicals, venoms or gases. A drug overdose is considered a form of poisoning and is treated accordingly. Similar to a trauma victim, the first few hours for a poisoned patient after exposure is typically the critical time in the management of a poisoned patient.
Emergency department (ED) visits for poisoning injuries and death continuing to rise. According to a CDC National Health Report, deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.
Crozer-Keystone’s toxicology service provides bedside consultation for poisoned patients who come into the ED at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. The toxicology consultant evaluates and manages the treatment of poisoned patients in order to:
- Administer antidotes that emergency medicine physicians may not be familiar with dispensing
- Anticipate the expected trajectory of the patient’s course
- Optimize the decision for disposition of the patient (admit versus discharge, appropriate use of monitor-setting, etc.)
- Tailor the management of patients with drug and alcohol detoxification syndromes during their admission.
Our toxicology consultation service offers improved quality of care, decreased readmissions, decreased length of stay and improved patient and family satisfaction.