Clinical Poisonings Imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic
International Journal of Medical Toxicology and Forensic Medicine,
Vol. 11 No. 1 (2021),
23 January 2021
Background: Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, a new problem has appeared in the healthcare facilities: toxicities and poisonings caused by medications and home remedies, by which people have been trying to protect themselves from acquiring the virus. The authors of this paper aim to notify the global scientific society of several substances and medications that either have led to poisonings thus far or have the potential for an outbreak.
Methods: Medical English literature reporting cases of poisonings during this pandemic between January and December 2020. Substances and drugs that could be a potential concern to public health are also reviewed.
Results: Alcohols and chemical substances have been the main causes of poisonings during this pandemic. Opioids, household products and herbal remedies were partly to blame. Global spread of incorrect information related to the COVID-19 prevention and treatment is a major risk to human lives, particularly in this difficult situation where healthcare systems are overwhelms with high rate of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.
Conclusion: As additional waves of the coronaviruses may hit countries in the upcoming winter, confinements may as well continue. Therefore, emergency physicians must be prepared for possible outbreaks of poisonings and be able to predict any unusual pattern of toxicities.
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