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April 1992

Passive Exposure of Cocaine in Medical Personnel and Its Relationship to Drug Screening Tests

Author Affiliations

Army Medical Center, Hawaii

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118(4):364. doi:10.1001/archotol.1992.01880040018002

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The ever-increasing occurrence of drug testing in all segments of our society makes the recent report by Kevin T. Kavanagh, MD, and colleagues on cocaine exposure very interesting and timely. Read before the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery in Kansas City, Mo, Dr Kavanagh's group from the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital, University of Tennessee, Memphis, tested three groups of 11 subjects after a single exposure to cocaine to determine if cocaine metabolites could be detected in urine specimens. The subjects were tested after being exposed to two drops of 4% cocaine on their skin, vigorously inhaling the air when aerosol spraying 4% cocaine, or after squeezing pledgets soaked with cocaine between their fingers. Urine specimens were collected at 2, 6, 10, 24, and 48 hours. Results showed that none of the urine specimens were positive.

It is known that patients have positive

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