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<< Toxic Alcohol Ingestion: Prompt Recognition and Management in the Emergency Department (Critical Care Topic and Pharmacology CME)

Differential Diagnosis

The differential diagnosis in patients presenting with altered mental status should remain broad, and it must include infectious processes, neurologic abnormalities, toxicological exposure, and metabolic abnormalities. (See Table 1.) Significant toxic alcohol exposure may also present with normal mental status, and it should remain on the differential diagnosis for patients with any potential ingestion, whether it is accidental or from a self-harm attempt.

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