Zeitschrift für klinische Toxikologie

Zeitschrift für klinische Toxikologie
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ISSN: 2161-0495


Initiation of Gastric Lavage in a Patient with Acute Overdose after Visualization of Pills in Stomach using Bedside Ultrasound

Tanya Bajaj, Mathew Nelson and Valerie Lehman

Medication overdose is a common presenting complaint to the Emergency Department (ED) and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Though the use of gastric lavage (GL) in patients with acute overdose has fallen out of favour over the last two decades, there are some instances in which GL may be still being considered as an important adjunctive therapy. This article describes a patient who presented after a massive acute overdose in which Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) was used to enhance decision making to proceed with initiation of GL in the ED. Our case report demonstrates the potential value of POCUS in detecting a large quantity of pills in the stomach of a patient after acute ingestion of pills in the ED. As Emergency physicians become more adept at the use of POCUS for novel applications and as the modalities themselves have significantly improved in image resolution, we are now more than ever more likely to affect our decision making through POCUS.