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Medical Toxicology and ToxIC Data

What do medical toxicologists do?

All data obtained for inclusion in the ToxIC Registry is obtained in the course of the routine clinical care of poisoned patients by medical toxicologists at participating sites. Medical toxicology is an American Board of Medical Specialties recognized sub-specialty that deals with the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and etiology of diseases in man caused by exposure to chemical substances of any kind, including pharmaceuticals, drugs of abuse, industrial and environmental substances, venoms and plant, mushroom and marine toxins. In the course of the evaluation and treatment of patients who are, or may be, suffering from adverse effects of an exposure, medical toxicologists conduct full clinical evaluations, including a detailed medical and exposure history, a physical examination, and a review of relevant records and laboratory testing. The treating medical toxicologist then typically develops and institutes a diagnostic and treatment plan, which may include the use of specific antidotes, chelating agents or antivenoms. Most patients cared for by medical toxicologists are seen in intensive care units, emergency departments or in outpatient clinics.

Because of the highly specialized nature of the practice of medical toxicology, most ToxIC investigators are located in tertiary care and academic environments. In addition to clinical practice most medical toxicologists are heavily involved in teaching medical students, residents and fellows-in-training. Research, which can be of a clinical or basic science nature, is another component of the professional lives of many medical toxicologists. Given medical toxicologists’ unique expertise in the adverse effects of chemical exposures on humans, they are frequently called upon to provide consultative services to governmental entities, legal proceedings, corporations, community groups, and foundations. Other typical activities of medical toxicologists are service as members of safety monitoring boards of clinical studies, and service on their home institution’s hospital committees such as Medication and Patient Safety or Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

What data do Consortium members collect?

The ToxIC Registry interface collects patient de-identified information that is routinely obtained in the course of these activities. This information consists of fields detailing:

Patient demographics:
  • The reasons for, and circumstances of, exposure
  • Diagnostic data
  • Symptoms and physical examination findings
  • Toxicologic diagnoses
  • Treatments administered
  • Patient outcome

More detailed information on specific areas of interest in ToxIC is collected in specific ToxIC sub-Registries. Our current sub-Registries are focused on:

 Please click here for more information about ToxIC Subregistries.