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Scientific principles in clinical toxicology 

Scientific principles in clinical toxicology
Chapter:
Scientific principles in clinical toxicology
Author(s):

D Nicholas Bateman

, Robert D Jefferson

, Simon HL Thomas

, John P Thompson

, and J Allister Vale

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199594740.003.0001
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date: 22 August 2019

In order to manage patients with poisons properly it is necessary to understand the basic scientific principles that underlie clinical practice. This chapter outlines these key principles, and discusses important aspects for the general reader.Topics covered include the epidemiology and basic mechanisms of poisoning, including mutagenicity and carcinogenicity.Toxicokinetics, the handling of poisons and drugs in overdose, is then outlined. Patterns of poisoning change with time, and tools to assess these changes are described, including hospital statistics, mortality data, and poisons information service datasets. Most doctors will use poisons information services in management of more complex cases, and an understanding of how these function, and be best used is provided. An outline of clinical trial design and assessment in poisoning follows.The classification of psychiatric disease as applied to poisoning is discussed. Finally approaches to risk and exposure assessment are discussed.

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