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Poisoning, Gastric Decontamination, Emergency Medicine

Frank LoVecchio Reviewed 06/2017



Modalities to decontaminate the GI tract of poisons 


  • Ipecac is contraindicated in ambulance setting.

  • Controversies:

    • Home use of ipecac in general is not recommended.

    • In extremely rare cases (e.g., very prolonged transit times, protecting airway),...

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Ipecac has no utility in the ED.

  • Administer activated charcoal in almost every toxic ingestion that presents within 1 hr with a patent airway

  • Never use multiple doses of cathartic in...

Additional Reading

  • Albertson  TE, Owen  KP, Sutter  ME, et al. Gastrointestinal decontamination in the acutely poisoned patient. Int J Emerg Med.  2011;4:65.

  • Holstege  CP, Dopmeier  SG, Bechtel  L...



977.9 Poisoning by unspecified drug or medicinal substance 


T65.91XA Toxic effect of unspecified substance, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter 


  • 75478009 Poisoning (disord...

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