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Management of salicylate poisoning 

Management of salicylate poisoning
Management of salicylate poisoning

Brenna M. Farmer

and Neal Flomenbaum

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date: 06 July 2022

Salicylates are weak acids that work as neurotoxins. The goal of management is to keep salicylates out of the brain and enhance elimination. Acute salicylate toxicity manifests as tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, and hyperventilation in a patient who takes a single large ingestion. Chronic salicylate toxicity is associated with long-term use, has a more insidious onset, and symptoms tend to be less severe, resulting in delayed diagnosis. It is more commonly seen in elderly patients. Therapeutic interventions for toxicity include gastrointestinal decontamination, serum and urine alkalinization, and haemodialysis. Mechanical ventilation may lead to clinical deterioration and death in a salicylate-poisoned patient due to worsening acidosis from respiratory failure. This results in severe acidosis, cerebral oedema, pulmonary oedema, and cardiac arrest.

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