Long-acting anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning: an evidence-based consensus guideline for out-of-hospital management

Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2007;45(1):1-22. doi: 10.1080/15563650600795487.


The objective of this guideline is to assist poison center personnel in the out-of-hospital triage and initial management of patients with suspected exposure to long-acting anticoagulant rodenticides (LAAR). An evidence-based expert consensus process was used to create this guideline. It is based on an assessment of current scientific and clinical information. The panel recognizes that specific patient care decisions may be at variance with this guideline and are the prerogative of the patient and health professionals providing care. The grade of recommendation is in parentheses. 1) Patients with exposure due to suspected self-harm, abuse, misuse, or potentially malicious administration should be referred to an emergency department immediately regardless of the doses reported (Grade D). 2) Patients with symptoms of LAAR poisoning (e.g., bleeding, bruising) should be referred immediately to an emergency department for evaluation regardless of the doses reported (Grade C). 3) Patients with chronic ingestion of LAAR should be referred immediately to an emergency department for evaluation of intent and potential coagulopathy (Grade B). 4) Patients taking anticoagulants therapeutically and who ingest any dose of a LAAR should have a baseline prothrombin time measured and then again at 48-72 hours after ingestion (Grade D). 5) Patients with unintentional ingestion of less than 1 mg of LAAR active ingredient can be safely observed at home without laboratory monitoring. This includes practically all unintentional ingestions in children less than 6 years of age (Grade C). 6) Pregnant patients with unintentional exposure to less than 1 mg of LAAR active ingredient should be evaluated by their obstetrician or primary care provider as an outpatient. Immediate referral to an ED or clinic is not required (Grade D). 7) Patients with unintentional ingestion of 1 mg or more of active ingredient and are asymptomatic should be evaluated for coagulopathy at 48-72 hours after exposure (Grade B). 8) Physicians' offices or outpatient clinics must be able to obtain coagulation study results in a timely manner, preferably in less than 24 hours, for patients who require outpatient monitoring (Grade D). 9) Gastrointestinal decontamination with ipecac syrup or gastric lavage is not recommended (Grade D). 10) Transportation to an emergency department should not be delayed for administration of activated charcoal (Grade D). 11) Patients with dermal exposures should be decontaminated by washing the skin with mild soap and water (Grade D). 12) The administration of vitamin K is not recommended prior to evaluation for coagulopathy (Grade D).

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / poisoning*
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Expert Testimony
  • Humans
  • Outpatients
  • Poison Control Centers / standards*
  • Poisoning / therapy*
  • Rodenticides / poisoning*
  • Triage
  • United States


  • Anticoagulants
  • Rodenticides