Penn Medicine's Division of Medical Toxicology at the Perelman School of Medicine provides education and clinical support for the care of patients with suspected poisoning or adverse effects of medications.
The Division of Medical Toxicology collaborates with the two Pediatric Emergency Medicine — Medical Toxicologists at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Fred Henretig, MD FACMT and Kevin Osterhoudt, MD FACMT.
As consultants to the Philadelphia Poison Center, they provide emergency support to clinicians caring for poisoned patients all over the Delaware Valley. In addition, evaluation of patients hospitalized at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia or in the HUP Emergency Department creates a significant opportunity for bedside toxicology teaching. The Division at HUP also has a large role in ensuring medication safety in the ED and hospital. Collaboration with the team of ED pharmacists creates increased drug surveillance and educational oversight for new medication processes especially evaluating high alert drugs in common use in the ED such as controlled substances, phenytoin, insulin and procedural sedation protocols and rapidly identifying safe alternative therapies in the presence of increasingly common drug shortages. Ongoing research projects include the evaluation of safe ED prescribing of opioid analgesics. Didactic education is multimodal: bimonthly toxicology conferences, resident toxicology rotations, poison center education initiatives and a "Clinical Connections" program with MD/PhD student interested in medical toxicology.
The Division of Medical Toxicology is also involved in translational research in the area of mitochondrial bioenergetics and dynamics as it relates to poisoning. We are interested in studying the interaction of mitochondrial bioenergetics and dynamics in the area of acute care that include acute toxicologic poisoning. We are currently taking a translational approach, studying the mitochondria at a cell-based level all the way to the clinical setting, actively enrolling patients with acute poisoning with the goal to develop better prognostic measures with the potential for mitochondrial-directed therapy. The Eckmann lab, where Dr. Jang is located, has both the latest model of the OROBOROS O2K with Fluorometer and Seahorse XF24 to study mitochondrial respiration in both intact and permeabilized cells. In addition, we also study mitochondrial dynamics, examining both mitochondrial motility and fusion/fission events with microscopy. Combining these elements, we aim to better understand the complex interactions of both bioenergetics and motility in issues of acute poisoning from agents such as carbon monoxide, to better improve patient care and outcomes.
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