Toxicology Symposium Features Internationally Lauded Poison Specialist

This month, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) hosted its fourth annual Pills and Thrills That Kill: Toxicology in Review conference.

The conference, which drew over 125 health care professionals from throughout the U.S., teaches new approaches to common toxicological problems and proper management of poisoned patients. The highlight of the event was a keynote by Frédéric Baud, M.D., a professor of intensive care and medical toxicologist at the University of Paris Diderot in Paris, France.

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Frédéric Baud, M.D., Pills and Thrills keynote speaker, and professor of intensive care and medical toxicologist at the University of Paris Diderot in Paris, France

Dr. Baud is internationally recognized for several antidotes, including fomepizole, which is used to treat methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning, and hydroxocobalamin, which is used to treat cyanide poisoning. Additionally, Dr. Baud has authored more than 300 publications on toxicology, many of which have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and the British Medical Journal.

During the conference, he spoke about cardiotoxic agents and commonly abused drugs, including opioids, stimulants, and hallucinogens.

While this was his first visit to campus, Dr. Baud has a long history with Stephen Borron, M.D., chief of the Division of Medical Toxicology at TTUHSC El Paso. Prior to joining TTUHSC El Paso in 2009, Dr. Borron worked closely with Dr. Baud in Paris for 11 years studying antidotes for cyanide and toxic alcohols, as well as mechanisms of opioid toxicity.

“Professor Baud’s participation was the highlight of our conference and we were quite fortunate to benefit from his teaching,” says Dr. Borron. “He discussed his groundbreaking work on “toxicodynetics” at Internal Medicine’s Grand Rounds on Wednesday and his presence raised the bar for the other excellent invited speakers from Yale University, the University of New Mexico, University of Minnesota, and TTUHSC El Paso.”

In addition to hearing from Dr. Baud, participants learned about a wide variety of toxins and poisons, including bites and stings, household products, pesticides, alcohols, and herbs and plants. They also learned how to aid patients that are poisoned with an unknown substance and special precautions for women who are poisoned while pregnant.

Pills and Thrills that Kill was a joint effort between the Department of Emergency Medicine, the Division of Medical Toxicology, the Office of Continuing Medical Education, and University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC)’s West Texas Regional Poison Center.