The Section of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology was established almost 30 years ago at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, it remains one of only a select few Children’s Hospitals in the United States to have a dedicated team of four medical toxicology and clinical pharmacology experts to admit, evaluate, diagnose and provide consultation to patients of all ages in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. We admit approximately 250 patients to our inpatient service (from about 500 patients presenting to our Pediatric Emergency Department per year with toxicology-related conditions) with clinical toxicity resulting from accidental- or intentional self-poisoning through exposure to prescription and nonprescription medications, adverse drug events, drugs of abuse, household or industrial toxins, and environmental toxins. We are the only hospital in Arkansas that manages venomous snake and spider envenomations in the pediatric population. Our service performs around 150 consultations per year, including providing recommendations to our inpatient services in tapering opioid and sedative medications to those children with iatrogenic addiction to these medications needed during their intensive care treatment.
Our subspecialty service provides educational opportunities for medical students, residents and fellows. In addition, we have developed specific toxicology Clinical Pathways to help standardize care and the prudent use of antidotes. We have further augmented our emergency department and inpatient electronic order sets to align with evidence- and consensus-based published literature.
ACH Pharmacology/Toxicology is expanding as part of a bigger vision to create an academic multidisciplinary collaborative Medical Toxicology Program that includes ACH, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Hospital (UAMS) and the Arkansas Poison and Drug Information Center (APDIC) in the School of Pharmacy.
The four-fold mission of this new program includes the expansion of:
- Clinical services through the implementation of a consultation service at UAMS Hospital with two adult emergency medicine/medical toxicologists
- Educational opportunities with rotations based at the APDIC and the implementation of an ACGME-approved Medical Toxicology Fellowship program
- Clinical research trials and surveillance studies
- Prevention programs through our poison center and state public health department.
Our overarching mission of this new and innovative program is to provide high-quality, value-based healthcare to individuals suffering from poisonings/toxic exposures and to improve health outcomes for populations through prevention of poisonings and harm reduction strategies, serving as a national model for other academic children’s hospitals.
Medical and Research Director for the Section of Pharmacology/Toxicology
Professor of Pediatrics