Chapter 21 Toxicology

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When caring for a known alcoholic patient with severe trauma to the chest and abdomen, you should be concerned that:

internal bleeding may be profuse because prolonged alcohol use may impair the blood’s ability to clot.

Hypotension, hypoventilation, and pinpoint pupils would be expected following an overdose of:

oxycodone (Percocet).

Activated charcoal is given to patients who have ingested certain substances because it:

binds to the substance and prevents absorption.

Which of the following statements regarding the Salmonella bacterium is correct?

The Salmonella bacterium itself causes food poisoning.

Of the four avenues of poisoning, generally ___________ is the most worrisome in terms of treatment to the EMS provider.


Most poisonings occur via the __________ route.


How do poisons typically act to harm the body?

By changing the normal metabolism of cells or by destroying them

Heroin is an example of a(n):


You and your paramedic partner are caring for a patient who ingested codeine, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and hydrocodone (Vicodin). The patient is unresponsive, his breathing is slow and shallow, and his pulse is slow and weak. Treatment for this patient should include:

assisted ventilation and naloxone (Narcan).

A 49-year-old male presents with confusion, sweating, and visual hallucinations. The patient’s wife tells you that he is a heavy drinker and she thinks he had a seizure shortly before your arrival. This patient is MOST likely experiencing:

delirium tremens.

Which of the following questions would be LEAST pertinent during the initial questioning of a patient who ingested a substance?

Why was the substance ingested?

An overdose of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, will MOST likely cause:

liver failure.

In an apparent suicide attempt, a 19-year-old female ingested a full bottle of amitriptyline (Elavil). At present, she is conscious and alert and states that she swallowed the pills approximately 30 minutes earlier. Her blood pressure is 90/50 mm Hg, her pulse is 140 beats/min and irregular, and her respirations are 22 breaths/min with adequate depth. When transporting this patient, you should be MOST alert for:

seizures and cardiac arrhythmias.

A person who routinely misuses a substance and requires increasing amounts to achieve the same effect is experiencing:


As you enter the residence of a patient who has possibly overdosed, you should:

be alert for personal hazards.

You receive a call to a residence where a man found his wife unresponsive on the couch. The patient’s respiratory rate is 8 breaths/min, her breathing is shallow, her heart rate is 40 beats/min, and her pulse is weak. The husband hands you an empty bottle of hydrocodone (Vicodin), which was refilled the day before. You should:

ventilate her with a BVM.

Which of the following sets of vital signs would the EMT MOST likely encounter in a patient with acute cocaine overdose?

BP, 200/100 mm Hg; pulse, 150 beats/min

Victims of inhaled poisoning will require which of the following?

Transport to an emergency department for evaluation

If the victim of a toxicologic emergency vomits, an EMT should _________.

use appropriate personal protective equipment and examine the vomitus for pill fragments or other clues for patient care.

The recommended treatment for absorbed or contact poisons includes _________.

safely removing or diluting the poisonous substance

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