Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: December  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • burning pain (skin or mucosal contact)
  • blistering rash (skin or mucosal contact)

Other diagnostic factors

  • erythema (skin or mucosal contact)
  • blurred vision/corneal damage (ocular exposure)
  • vomiting (ingestion)
  • diarrhoea (ingestion)
  • dyspnoea (inhalation)
  • cough (inhalation)
  • bleeding (inhalation)
  • chest crackles and wheeze (inhalation)
  • tachycardia
  • hypotension
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • ataxia
  • prostration
  • hypothermia
  • coagulopathy
  • fever

Risk factors

  • occupational exposure
  • contaminated foods
  • biological terrorism
  • skin exposure

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • pulse oximetry
  • capnography
  • arterial blood gases
  • CXR
  • serum electrolytes
  • coagulation studies
  • FBC
  • mass spectrometry analysis of nasal, throat, or respiratory secretions
  • serum, urine, or tissue samples for toxin analysis
Full details

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine

Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

University of Colorado

Faculty Member

Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center

Denver

CO

Disclosures

SP declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Clinical Pharmacologist and Toxicologist

NSW Poisons Information Centre

Associate Professor

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Camperdown

Australia

Disclosures

DR declares that he has no competing interests.

Head Unit of Toxicology

Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health

Zagreb

Croatia

Disclosures

MP declares that she has no competing interests.

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