- Written by Ethan Abbott
Toxicology Literature of Note
The study of toxicology includes occupational and environmental health issues. Although possibly not as relevant to emergency medicine, the health effects from microplastics are something that every physician should be aware of. This short editorial defines microplastics and their effect of our marine life, with some questions on how this could affect human health.
In an effort to play their part in the judicious use of opioids in the ED, this hospital in Milwaukie implemented a management pathway for patients with acute and chronic pain. The follow study looks at the impact of the pathway on opioid prescribing.
Toxicology in the News
This short article is about Dr. William McBride, an Australian OBGYN who warned about the dangers of thalidomide. For those unfamiliar with the teratogenicity of this drug, which was used for morning sickness, I urge you to search Google images.
This article from our neighbors to the north discusses a seemingly harmless and beautiful little bead, which can be deadly if ingested. Used in jewelry and crafts, the jequirity bean (Abrus precatorius) contains the toxin abrin, which inhibits protein synthesis.
Some people think this fish is ugly. But not only do I find him beautiful, I also have heard that he is actually quite tasty! The Lionfish (Pterois volitans) is a venomous fish, popular in aquariums and, sadly, destroying the ecosystem in certain tropical areas due to lack of natural predators. The following article highlights a chef doing his part to return balance to the Gulf of Mexico, one fish dish at a time.
Toxicology Toxin of the Month
This month I would like to highlight another amazing and educational blog post on The Tox and the Hound!
The Dirty on Dantrolene, a true muscle relaxer. Many likely have never used this medication in practice, but it’s use in emergency medicine should not be overlooked or forgotten. Here is just a taste of the post:
“The use of a RYR1 antagonist as a treatment for conditions of RYR1 dysfunction makes perfect sense. Because people often conflate one hyperthermic patient for another, dantrolene has been suggested as a therapy for other hyperthermic conditions, such as serotonin syndrome, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and heat stroke. Is there a role for dantrolene outside of malignant hyperthermia?”