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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versão impressa ISSN 1137-6627


BURILLO PUTZE, G. et al. Adverse events caused by activated charcoal in an emergency services survey. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2015, vol.38, n.2, pp.203-211. ISSN 1137-6627.

Background: There are few studies in Spain on the use of activated charcoal (AC) in acute poisoning via the digestive tract, and more specifically on its protocol and adverse events following its administration. The aim of this article is to know the experience in the use of AC by doctors and nurses of the Spanish emergency services. Method: Survey developed using Google Docs to health professionals in emergency services. Results: Three hundred and sixty-four questionnaires were received, 52% of them from doctors. Catheterization prior to the use of AC in 74.5% of patients was performed, and did not use a catheter in 13%. The application of AC was considered correct in 37.4%, and overall it was used in 92.4% of cases. The lateral safety position was used in 46.2%, antiemetics in 86.5% and isolation of the airway in case of coma (GCS<8) in 60%. The most described adverse events were vomiting of AC (61%), epixtasis when the catheter was positioned (51.1%), and its incorrect positioning (36%). Inhaling vomit occurred in 11.8% and inhaling carbon in 4.7%. Seven point one percent stated that the adverse events had been life-threatening to patients. No relation was found between the protocol and serious or life-threatening adverse events, nor between these latter and clinical safety measures. Conclusions: The incidence of adverse events according to the information provided by professionals in this survey of clinical practice might be higher than the incidence found in the literature.

Palavras-chave : Charcoal; Emergency; Adverss events.

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