Prevalence of sorbitol in multiple-dose activated charcoal regimens in emergency departments

Paul M. Wax, Richard Y. Wang, Robert S. Hoffman, Maria Mercurio, Mary Ann Howland, Lewis R. Goldfrank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study objectives: To determine the availability and use of premixed activated charcoal in sorbitol preparations during multiple-dose activated charcoal therapy in the emergency department. Design and setting: A prospective telephone survey of all 911 receiving hospitals within the catchment area of one poison center. Type of participants: Hospital pharmacy supervisors and ED charge nurses. Intervention: Hospital pharmacy supervisors were surveyed about the available preparations of activated charcoal on their hospital's formulary, and ED charge nurses in these same hospitals were surveyed about the prevalence of sorbitol use in multiple-dose activated charcoal regimens. Measurements and main results: Eleven hospitals (16%) stocked only activated charcoal in sorbitol preparations. Twenty-one hospitals (31%) had both activated charcoal in sorbitol preparations and activated charcoal without sorbitol preparations, and 35 hospitals (52%) had only activated charcoal without sorbitol preparations. Repeat dosing of sorbitol during multiple-dose activated charcoal therapy occurred in 33 of 67 (49%) of the EDs surveyed. Conclusion: Sorbitol dosing is often repeated with activated charcoal during multiple-dose activated charcoal therapy in the ED because of the ready availability (and sometimes exclusive availability) of premixed activated charcoal in sorbitol preparations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1807-1812
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1993

Keywords

  • activated charcoal
  • sorbitol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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