Paracetamol overdose: An evidence based flowchart to guide management



Publication Details

Wallace, C. I., Dargan, P. I. & Jones, A. L. (2002). Paracetamol overdose: An evidence based flowchart to guide management. Emergency Medicine Journal, 19 (3), 202-205.


A flowchart for the management of patients with paracetamol poisoning is presented to help clinicians in the emergency department. Paracetamol is the commonest drug taken in overdose in the United Kingdom. While the management of early paracetamol poisoning is straightforward, the management of late presenting cases, cases presenting after a staggered overdose, and patients with risk factors for paracetamol poisoning can be much more complex. The authors have developed and present here an evidence based flowchart that will guide clinicians step by step through the investigation and treatment of all patients presenting to hospital after this common, but often difficult to manage overdose. As well as a management guideline this flowchart can be used as an educational tool.

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