Toxicology

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The Section of Medical Toxicology in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory University is devoted to teaching, patient care, and research in the field of Medical Toxicology. Since the establishment of the Section in 1996 with one toxicologist, the section has grown to include six Emergency Medicine trained medical toxicologists. The primary activities of the Section of Medical Toxicology include an inpatient consultation service, a medical toxicology residency, and an outpatient clinic.

The Medical Toxicology consultation service evaluates patients at Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding. The consultation service is available 24 hours a day to assist emergency physicians and admitting physicians in the evaluation and treatment of poisoned patients and participates in the care of over 500 patients each year. The Section members have unique knowledge and access to resources that are tremendously valuable in managing these challenging patients.  

The Section of Medical Toxicology took the leading role in establishing a combined medical toxicology fellowship in July of 2000. Participating institutions include Emory University, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the Georgia Poison Center. We have become one of the most popular programs in the country filling both of our funded positions every year since 2002.

Along with the Emory University Department of Pediatrics, the members also provide medical direction for the Georgia Poison Center - the third busiest poison center in the United States - receiving approximately 90,000 phone calls per year. Medical direction is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week to cover the citizens of Georgia. For more information, visit the Georgia Poison Center website. The Poison Center plays a key role in Georgia's disaster planning and provides ongoing education to Georgia healthcare providers.  

The Section members educate Georgia healthcare providers in the management of poisoned patients by speaking at regional meetings and providing frequent in-services to many of Georgia's hospitals. Section members are also heavily involved in the education of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers through the presentation of Advanced Hazmat Life Support (AHLS) courses. AHLS is a continuing education program designed for EMS and other health professionals. Section members have presented over 50 AHLS courses in Georgia, including having a course in every GEMA district and have trained over 1000 healthcare providers in the care of the HAZMAT patient.

The members teach medical toxicology and clinical pharmacology to Medical Toxicology, Emergency Medicine, Pediatric and Internal Medicine residents on a daily basis. The Section provides a monthly Medical Toxicology rotation for residents and medical students from Emory University and other institutions. They are also involved in several teaching venues at the Emory School of Medicine including leading the Capstone Pharmacology course and the development of Medical Toxicology simulation cases delivered at the Emory School of Medicine Simulation Center. An Introduction to Medical Toxicology lecture was also developed and is given to all interns and medical students that rotate through the Emory University Department of Emergency Medicine.  

The Section also performs outpatient toxicology evaluations at the Georgia Occupational and Environmental Toxicology Clinic - the only outpatient clinic member of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics within a 400 mile radius of Atlanta. Accordingly, we receive referrals to evaluate patients from all over Georgia and surrounding states. Services provided by the clinic include diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from a wide variety of occupational and environmental diseases, poisonings, and exposures to hazardous substances.

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