Clinical Presentation

An emergent presentation is seen in a person who is exposed to a chemical and becomes immediately ill and thinks agricultural chemicals are to blame. Most emergent chemical-related illnesses are seen in the hospital emergency department. A nonemergent situation is seen by many physicians in their offices where the patient may be sent after an emergency department visit. Alternatively, the patient may arrive directly from the workplace, either the same day of the exposure or sometime later. The vital signs are typically stable and there may be a question whether the person was actually exposed or poisoned. The emergency department may not have the time to do a thorough history or have the resources of past records, private investigators' reports, governmental reports, site visits, and research to aid in the diagnosis and the determination of causation, impairments, disabilities, or future medical care. The office-based physician is often asked to determine these issues (1,7,8).

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