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Current state of drug analysis in Japanese emergency departments: a nationwide survey

  • Otani, Norio1
  • Hifumi, Toru1
  • Kitamoto, Takeshi2
  • Kobayashi, Kentaro3
  • Nakaya, Nobuaki4
  • Tomioka, Joji5
  • 1 St. Luke’s International Hospital, Japan , (Japan)
  • 2 Hasegawa Hospital, Japan , (Japan)
  • 3 Center Hospital of National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Japan , (Japan)
  • 4 Medical University Hospital, Japan , (Japan)
  • 5 Yonemori Hospital, Japan , (Japan)
Published Article
Acute Medicine & Surgery
John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Publication Date
Oct 15, 2020
DOI: 10.1002/ams2.566
PMID: 33088578
PMCID: PMC7561489
PubMed Central
External links


Aim In 1999, the Japanese Society for Clinical Toxicology proposed 15 toxicants that would be useful for analysis: methanol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, bromovalerylurea, tricyclic acid, acetaminophen, salicylic acid, theophylline, organic phosphorus pesticides, carbamate pesticides, glufosinate, paraquat, arsenic, cyanide, and methamphetamine. We aimed to reveal the current state of drug analysis for acute poisoning in the emergency department of Japanese hospitals. Methods From 1 April, 2017, we undertook a questionnaire survey in the emergency departments of 546 hospitals designated as educational institutions for emergency physicians. Results Responses were obtained from 246 hospitals (45.1%). Among drug abuse screening kits for qualitative testing, 80.9% used the Triage Drugs of Abuse Panel and 7.3% used Instant‐View M‐1. Analytical results have always been immediately obtained by 2.8% of facilities for methanol, 19.5% for barbiturates, 2.4% for benzodiazepines, 0.8% for bromovalerylurea, 1.2% for tricyclic acid, 12.2% for acetaminophen, 4.1% for salicylic acid, 44.3% for theophylline, 2.0% for organic phosphorus pesticides, 1.6% for carbamate pesticides, 1.2% for glufosinate, 2.4% for paraquat, 0.8% for arsenic, 1.2% for cyanide, and 1.2% for methamphetamine. Conclusion In the treatment of acute poisoning, drug analysis is important for both clinical judgment and academic verification. However, many of the 15 toxicants proposed to be useful for analysis in 1999 are not yet immediately analyzed in the emergency department of Japanese hospitals. Furthermore, it is necessary to develop inexpensive testing systems and to provide insurance points for testing so that analysis can be carried out by emergency departments.

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