Hemlock Poisoning Workup

Updated: Jan 29, 2021
  • Author: Daniel E Brooks, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Consider the following tests if patient is hemodynamically unstable or has altered mental status or seizures:

  • Basic metabolic profile including electrolytes, glucose, BUN, and creatinine

  • Arterial blood gas

  • Comprehensive drug screen to evaluate for coingestions, including serum acetaminophen level

  • Creatine kinase or urine myoglobin to screen for rhabdomyolysis

Consider a pregnancy test for women of childbearing age.


Imaging Studies

Perform chest radiographs if aspiration is suspected.


Other Tests

See the list below:

  • ECG to rule out dysrhythmias

  • Chemical screening test for alkaloids in plant material provides confirmation of toxicity due to poison or water hemlock. However, a plant specimen (or ingested material) is required, and these tests are not routinely available.