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How to interpret urine toxicology tests
  1. Emma M Dyer1,
  2. Sormeh Salehian2
  1. 1 Evelina London Children’s Healthcare, London, UK
  2. 2 Paediatric Department, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emma M Dyer, Evelina London Children’s Healthcare, London, UK; emma.m.dyer{at}


A 13-year-old girl presents to the emergency department for the second time with an unresponsive episode. She has a GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale) score of 11 on arrival and all other observations are normal. The story is unclear, but there are ongoing safeguarding concerns and the family are known to social services. All investigations are normal. After a period of observation on the ward, her GCS returns to normal and she appears well. Both on the first presentation and this presentation ingestion of a toxin was suspected. However, this was denied by the patient and urine toxicology screen was negative. Does this rule out toxin ingestion? Will this change your management?

  • biochemistry
  • general paediatrics
  • neonatology
  • toxicology
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  • Contributors EMD was responsible for all aspects of this work including the outline and content of the manuscript and design of the infographic. SS critically appraised the manuscript and contributed further ideas. All authors edited the manuscript and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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