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Crit Care Clin. 2012 Oct;28(4):479-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2012.07.008. Epub 2012 Aug 27.


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Division of Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine, Blue Ridge Poison Center, University of Virginia Health System, University of Virginia School of Medicine, PO Box 800774, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0774, USA.


The critical care physician is often called to care for poisoned patients. This article reviews the general approach to the poisoned patient, specifically focusing on the utility of the toxidrome. A toxidrome is a constellation of findings, either from the physical examination or from ancillary testing, which may result from any poison. There are numerous toxidromes defined in the medical literature. This article focuses on the more common toxidromes described in clinical toxicology. Although these toxidromes can aid the clinician in narrowing the differential diagnosis, care must be exercised to realize the exceptions and limitations associated with each.

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