Emergency Room Procedures for DEC
These are recommended procedures developed by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. Various localities may need to adjust the strategies depending on their resources. As local, state and federal protocols are approved and implemented, this information will be updated.
A child found in a residence where Meth is used or manufactured should be transported immediately to the nearest Emergency Department by emergency personnel if there is an explosion, active chemicals at the scene or the child appears ill (fast breathing, obvious burns, lethargy or somnolence).
At the Emergency Room:
1) Complete medical evaluation to assess acute medical needs.
2) Specific attention to the pulmonary exam as the chemicals can cause acute respiratory problems. RRs, O2 saturation and a CXR in the symptomatic child are the minimum required.
3) Blood tests as needed in addition to a CBC, Chemistry Panel to include BUN/Cr and LFTS.
4) Collect urine for toxicology. This should happen as soon as possible, but must occur within six hours for optimal results. This should be submitted to a lab that screens and reports for the level of detection of the test, not just at NIDA standards. Chain of Evidence forms may be utilized or usual medical protocols for urine toxicology screens may be followed.