Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

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Regular medical and recreational use of cannabis is on the rise among all age groups. In most cases, this is associated with few side effects, but some regular users experience a wildly paradoxical reaction. While cannabis will normally suppress nausea and pain and stimulate appetite, weekly cannabis use can sometimes produce severe cramping, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea, known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). In this program, we explore the pathophysiology of CHS, discuss presentations that EMS may encounter, and review the current diagnostic and treatment criteria. Current estimates of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome affecting potentially 2.7 million people in the US annually, with significant increases in states with legalization. With complications of CHS, including kidney failure, electrolyte imbalance, and skin burns on patients seeking self-treatment, can EMS providers afford to be unprepared?

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ED Management of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: Breaking the Cycle

New England Center for Rescue & Emergency Medicine’s Own Programs:

About romduck

Rom Duckworth is a dedicated emergency responder, author, and educator with more than thirty years of experience working in career and volunteer fire departments, hospital healthcare systems, and private emergency medical services. Rom is a career fire captain and paramedic EMS Coordinator for the Ridgefield (CT) Fire Department and director of the New England Center for Rescue and Emergency Medicine. Rom holds a master’s degree in public administration, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program, and is the recipient of the NAEMT Presidential Award, American Red Cross Hero Award, Sepsis Alliance Sepsis Hero Award, and the EMS 10 Innovators Award. Rom is the author of "Duckworth on Education," as well as chapters in more than a dozen EMS, fire, rescue, and medical textbooks and over 100 published articles in fire and EMS magazines. A member of the NAEMT Board of Directors, as well as other national and international advocacy and advisory boards, Rom continues to work for the advancement of emergency services professions. Contact Rom via