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Summary statement: new guidelines for the management of paracetamol poisoning in Australia and New Zealand

Angela L Chiew, John S Fountain, Andis Graudins, Geoffrey K Isbister, David Reith and Nicholas A Buckley
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (5): 215-218. || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00614

A large proportion of accidental paediatric exposures and deliberate self-poisoning incidents involve paracetamol; it is the leading pharmaceutical agent responsible for calls to Poisons Information Centres in Australia and New Zealand. Management of paracetamol poisoning has altered since the previous guidelines were published in 2008, so that they do not reflect current practice by clinical toxicologists. The key changes from the previous guidelines concern the indications for administration of activated charcoal; the management of patients taking large or massive overdoses; modified-release and supratherapeutic ingestions; and paediatric liquid paracetamol ingestion.

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  • Angela L Chiew1
  • John S Fountain3
  • Andis Graudins4
  • Geoffrey K Isbister6
  • David Reith3
  • Nicholas A Buckley2

  • 1 Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago
  • 4 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 5 Monash University and Monash Health, Dandenong, VIC
  • 6 University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW
  • 7 Calvary Mater, Newcastle, NSW

Correspondence: a_chiew@hotmail.com

Acknowledgements: 

We thank Clinical Associate Professor Simone Strasser (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital) and transplant hepatologists from around Australia and the Kingboyuan;rsquo;s College, London, for their input regarding patients requiring discussion with a liver transplant unit.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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