Aspirin Poisoning

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Salicylate poisoning, also known as aspirin poisoning, is the acute or chronic poisoning with a salicylate such as aspirin. The classic symptoms are ringing in the ears, nausea, abdominal pain, and a fast breathing rate. Early on, these may be subtle, while larger doses may result in fever. Complications can include swelling of the brain or lungs, seizures, low blood sugar, or cardiac arrest. While usually due to aspirin, other possible causes include oil of wintergreen and bismuth subsalicylate. Excess doses can be either on purpose or accidental. Small amounts of oil of wintergreen can be toxic. Diagnosis is generally based on repeated blood tests measuring aspirin levels and blood gases. While a type of graph has been created to try to assist with diagnosis, its general use is not recommended. In overdose maximum blood levels may not occur for more than 12 hours. Efforts to prevent poisoning include child-resistant packaging and a lower number of pills per package. Treatment may include activated charcoal, intravenous sodium bicarbonate with dextrose and potassium chloride, and dialysis. Giving dextrose may be useful even if the blood sugar is normal. Dialysis is recommended in those with kidney failure, decreased level of consciousness, blood pH less than 7.2, or high blood salicylate levels. If a person requires intubation, a fast respiratory rate may be required. The toxic effects of salicylates have been described since at least 1877. In 2004, more than 20,000 cases with 43 deaths were reported in the United States. About 1% of those with an acute overdose die, while chronic overdoses may have worse outcomes. Older people are at higher risks of toxicity for any given dose.
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Aspirin overdose
ASA toxicity
Aspirin toxicity
Salicylate toxicity
ASA overdose
Aspirin poisoning
Salicylic acid overdose
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