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Prehosp Disaster Med. 2006 Mar-Apr;21(2):s40-8.

Acute cyanide poisoning in prehospital care: new challenges, new tools for intervention.

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Division of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.


Effective management of cyanide poisoning from chemical terrorism, inhalation of fire smoke, and other causes constitutes a critical challenge for the prehospital care provider. The ability to meet the challenge of managing cyanide poisoning in the prehospital setting may be enhanced by the availability of the cyanide antidote hydroxocobalamin, currently under development for potential introduction in the United States. This paper discusses the causes, recognition, and management of acute cyanide poisoning in the prehospital setting with emphasis on the emerging profile of hydroxocobalamin, an antidote that may have a risk:benefit ratio suitable for empiric, out-of-hospital treatment of the range of causes of cyanide poisoning. If introduced in the U.S., hydroxocobalamin may enhance the role of the U.S. prehospital responder in providing emergency care in a cyanide incident.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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