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Wong S.C.,Georgia Poison Center | Wong S.C.,Emory University | Mundy L.,The Philadelphia Medical Examiners Office | Curtis J.A.,Drexel University | Wingert W.E.,The Philadelphia Medical Examiners Office
Journal of Medical Toxicology | Year: 2010

Fentanyl is an increasingly common drug of abuse. The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office reported 252 drug-related deaths in Philadelphia that tested positive for fentanyl during the year 2006 in comparison to 22 and 19 in 2005 and 2004, respectively. We reviewed the data from 2004 to 2006 from the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's office. Key words such as fentanyl, drug, cocaine, ethanol, medic (medication), tox (intoxication), or poison were used as search words. In comparison to 2004 and 2005 data, there was a statistically significant increase in number of drug- related deaths (DRDs) and the percentage of DRDs that tested positive for fentanyl in 2006. We postulate that the increase in DRDs in 2006 may be related to increase use or abuse of fentanyl, lack of general public awareness that fentanyl is a potent opioid, inadequate dose of nalaxone and/ or the surge of clandestinely manufactured fentanyl. © American College of Medical Toxicology 2010. Source

Deeds J.R.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration | Schwartz M.D.,Georgia Poison Center
Toxicon | Year: 2010

Palytoxin (PTX) was first isolated from the zoanthid Palythoa toxica. Evaluation of PTX toxicity using various animal models determined that PTX was extremely potent through intravenous, intraperitoneal, and intratracheal exposure. PTX was less potent by direct intragastric exposure. PTX also caused significant, non-lethal effects through dermal and ocular exposure. PTX and PTX-like compounds have now been found in additional zoanthid species, red alga, a sea anemone, and several dinoflagellates. PTXs are found throughout certain reef associated food webs, including in fish and crabs responsible for human illness and death. Many of the organisms found to contain PTXs in the environment are also sold in the home aquarium trade, and recent evidence suggests poisonings have occurred through exposure to these organisms. Due to co-occurrence with other seafood toxins, such as ciguatoxins, saxitoxins, and tetrodotoxin, it has been difficult to assess the true risk of PTX poisoning through seafood consumption in humans, but limited cases have been well documented, some involving human fatalities. Recent evidence also suggests that humans are negatively impacted through PTX exposure by inhalation and dermal routes. Continued research into the distribution and occurrence of PTX and PTX-like compounds both in seafood and marine organisms sold in the aquarium trade appears warranted. © 2009. Source

Schwartz M.D.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Dell'Aglio D.M.,Georgia Poison Center | Nickle R.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Hornsby-Myers J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Journal of Medical Toxicology | Year: 2014

Toxicologists are often called upon to assist in environmental, industrial, occupational and public health assessments. Accordingly, medical toxicologists may find it prudent to be aware of applicable federal toxicological regulations and reporting requirements and of the roles of relevant federal agencies. These regulations are numerous, complex, and have evolved and expanded over time, making it difficult for toxicologists to sustain a current knowledge base. This article reviews the pertinent federal toxicological reporting requirements with regard to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Department of Transportation, and information about the National Response Center. We reference internet-based government resources and offer direct links to applicable websites in an attempt to offer rapid and current sources of practical information. The format of the article is a series of hypothetical scenarios followed by commentary. Discussions of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act are beyond the scope of this paper. For those desiring a more in-depth discussion of the relevant federal environmental laws and statutes and applicable case law, the reader is directed to resources such as the Environmental Law Handbook, the websites of individual laws found at www.epa.gov and the decisions of individual courts of appeal. It is our hope that this article provides not only useful practical information for the practicing toxicologist but also serves as a key reference for medical toxicology core content on environmental laws and regulations. © 2014 American College of Medical Toxicology (outside the USA). Source

Lovegrove M.C.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Hon S.,Georgia Poison Center | Geller R.J.,Georgia Poison Center | Geller R.J.,Emory University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Pediatrics | Year: 2013

Objective To assess whether adding flow restrictors (FRs) to liquid medicine bottles can provide additional protection against unsupervised medication ingestions by young children, even when the child-resistant closure is not fully secured. Study design In April and May 2012, we conducted a block randomized trial with a convenience sample of 110 3- and 4-year-old children from 5 local preschools. Participants attempted to remove test liquid from an uncapped bottle with an FR and a control bottle without an FR (with either no cap or an incompletely closed cap). Results All but 1 (96%; 25 of 26) of the open control bottles and 82% (68 of 83) of the incompletely closed control bottles were emptied within 2 minutes. Only 6% (7 of 110) of the bottles with FRs were emptied during the 10-minute testing period, none before 6 minutes. Overall, children removed less liquid from the bottles with FRs than from the open or incompletely closed control bottles without FRs (both P <.001). All children assigned open control bottles and 90% of those assigned incompletely closed control bottles removed ≥25 mL of liquid. In contrast, 11% of children removed ≥25 mL of liquid from uncapped bottles with FRs. Older children (aged 54-59 months) were more successful than younger children at removing ≥25 mL of liquid (P =.002) from bottles with FRs. Conclusion Our findings suggest that adding FRs to liquid medicine bottles limits the accessibility of their contents to young children and could complement the safety provided by current child-resistant packaging. Copyright © 2013 Mosby Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Schwartz M.D.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Trecki J.,Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA) | Edison L.A.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Steck A.R.,Georgia Poison Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Emergency Medicine | Year: 2015

Background Since 2009, synthetic cannabinoid (SC) use has emerged as a growing public health threat in the United States (US). Several outbreaks of unexpected, severe toxicity linked to SC use have been reported since 2012. Reports of varied and significant morbidity after SC use are expected to increase because newer compounds enter the marketplace more frequently as manufacturers attempt to circumvent regulatory efforts. Case Report We report a cluster of 7 patients who experienced a spectrum of anxiety, delirium, psychosis, and aggressive behaviors after smoking the same SC-containing product at a party. An 8th patient with the same exposure source presented with delayed onset seizures. Biologic samples were analyzed for novel, newly identified SCs belonging to the FUBINACA family of compounds. A previously unknown SC, N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-pentyl-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide (ADB-PINACA) was identified in biologic samples from 7 of the individuals. ADB-PINACA was identified in the SC-containing product (Crazy Clown) seized by law enforcement and identified as the product smoked by the 8 patients in the reported cluster. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This? The information compiled using this cluster of cases, and a similar reported outbreak of altered mental status in Colorado, implicating the same SC (ADB-PINACA) and brands of SC-containing products, aided the US Drug Enforcement Administration in its temporary scheduling of ADB-PINACA and three other SCs. In this outbreak, close cooperation between public health and law enforcement allowed for a rapid intervention, which halted the outbreak by interrupting the common source and accelerated regulatory efforts to prevent further morbidity and mortality. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

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