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Heather Baid

, Fiona Creed

, and Jessica Hargreaves

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date: 21 September 2019

This chapter reviews the assessment of the critically ill patient presenting with poisoning from a harmful substance. Particular attention is paid to a focused history, a focused physical assessment, and relevant laboratory investigations. The critical care nursing management during the initial period is described, as well as interventions to minimize further absorption and promote excretion of the poison. A list of common toxidromes and their signs and symptoms is also provided. Definitions, assessment findings, investigations, management, and available antidotes are then described for a range of specific substances that are common causes of poisoning, including paracetamol, salicylate, carbon monoxide, and tricyclic antidepressants, as well as illicit drug overdose.

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