From Venom to Opioids, Conference Covers a Deadly Range of Toxic Substances

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso hosted the Sixth Annual Pills and Thrills that Kill! Toxicology in Review conference March 27-28. Discussion topics included approaches to common toxicological problems, poisonings of high morbidity and mortality, and changes in the clinical management of poisoned patients.

Toxicology covers a wide area of academic disciplines, according to Stephen W. Borron, M.D., M.S., FACEP, FAACT, FAAEM, FACMT. Dr. Borron serves as chief of the Division of Medical

Pills-and-Thrills-5Toxicology and professor of emergency medicine and medical toxicology at TTUHSC El Paso’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. He is also medical director of the West Texas Regional Poison Center at University Medical Center of El Paso.

“It’s really run the gamut from drugs of abuse to pharmaceuticals to creatures,” Dr. Borron said. “We’ve had lectures on child abuse by poisoning, we’ve had lectures on marijuana and opioids — a huge problem right now, with opioid-related deaths. We’ve had a lecture on snakebites, lectures on cardio-toxic drugs — drugs for cardiac problems which can become toxic when you take too many of them or take the wrong ones.”

The conference was designed for nurses and pharmacists who work in poison centers and for health care professionals preparing to take the certification exam for Certified Specialists in Poison Information. Physicians and emergency medicine residents also attended the conference.

University Medical Center of El Paso, the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health and West Texas Regional Poison Center also participated in the conference.