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Unit of study_

CRIT5017: Introduction to Clinical Toxicology

Semester 2 Early, 2020 [Online] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Clinical toxicology is concerned with the risk assessment and management of drugs, chemicals and venoms in humans. This unit introduces students to common poisonings and envenomations in Australia and provides a framework for the initial resuscitation and risk assessment of the affected patient. Principles of supportive care, decontamination, enhanced elimination and specific antidotes will also be explored.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CRIT5017
Academic unit Critical Care
Credit points 6
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Paris Ramrakha,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Live+ supervised) Type A final exam Final Exam
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO6 LO7
Assignment 2 x Short Answer Questions
Online Task
20% Multiple weeks 500 words;120 Minutes per SAQ
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO6 LO8 LO9 LO10
Assignment Drug in a Hurry
Online Task
10% Week 01 90 Second Video
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Pecha Kucha
Online Task
20% Week 08 6 minutes 40 seconds
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Assignment Mental Health Act Discussion
Online Task
10% Week 11 500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO8 LO9 LO10
Type A final exam = Type A final exam ?

Assessment summary

Drug in a Hurry - 90 Second Video

Students are to film themselves explaining, in 90 seconds or less, the important pharmacology and toxicology of the drug.

Mental Health Act Discussion

This task asks you to briefly describe a case you have seen, or a potential case, of a patient who has taken a toxic ingestion, and did refuse, or is refusing treatment. Describe the details of the case presentation, the risk assessment, and what treatment is proposed.

2 x Short Answer Questions

Students must respond to a set of 10 questions per SAQ in response to a scenario that is presented to them. 

Pecha Kucha

A Pecha Kucha (PK) is a Japanese story-telling format where a speaker presents 20 slides and discusses each slide for 20 seconds each. Each student is to prepare a PK where topics will be allocated based on their indicated preferences where possible.

Final Graded Exam (Online)

The final exam is a graded, fully invigilated exam conducted via Canvas with the help of an online proctor. The exam will contain  multiple choice questions (single best answer) and short answer questions. The exam will be timed for 120 minutes. Please note that the final mark for your exam will not be released.

Points are awarded for correct answers. No points are deducted for incorrect answers so all questions should be attempted.

This exam also contains short answer questions. Points available for each question are clearly marked. The use of brief statements and dot points is encouraged rather than a composed essay. You are not required to produce diagrams or graphs.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Please note, for this unit of study (CRIT5017) the late submission penalty will be 5% of the maximum awardable mark for each calendar day after the due date for 5 calendar days only. This is to ensure that timely feedback is provided to students. If the assessment is submitted more than 5 calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Module 1.1: Resuscitation, Risk Assessment and Supportive Care Online class (10 hr)  
Week 02 Module 1.2: Decontamination Techniques; Hepatotoxins Online class (10 hr)  
Week 03 Module 1.3: Enhanced Elimination; Renal Toxicity Online class (10 hr)  
Week 04 Module 1.4: Enhanced Elimination cont'd: Anticoagulants Online class (10 hr)  
Week 05 Module 1.5: Cardiotoxic Agents: Sodium Channel Blockade Online class (10 hr)  
Week 06 Module 1.6: Cardiotoxins cont'd: Beta Blockade, Calcium Channel Blockade and the QT Interval Online class (10 hr)  
Week 07 Module 2.1: Antipsychotic Drugs and Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Online class (10 hr)  
Week 08 Module 2.2: Cholinergic Toxidrome and Agents of Chemical Warfare Online class (10 hr)  
Week 09 Module 2.3: Stimulant Toxidrome, Serotonergic Toxicity, and Anticholinergic Toxic Online class (10 hr)  
Week 10 Module 2.4: Sedatives Online class (10 hr)  
Week 11 Module 2.5: Alcohol(s) and Withdrawal Syndromes Online class (10 hr)  
Week 12 Module 2.6: Paediatric Poisonings Online class (10 hr)  
Week 13 Module 2.7: Envenomation and Poisonous Plants Online class (10 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Online only. It is expected you will spend about 10 hours per week completing the unit.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Explain the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of common poisons; To inform and create a robust risk assessment framework for every poisoned patient; To allow the rational application of appropriate decontamination and enhanced elimination techniques
  • LO2. Explain the impact of specific toxins on physiological systems;To formulate a rational resuscitation plan
  • LO3. Apply evidence-based principles and techniques to the management of common toxins
  • LO4. Apply and adapt resuscitation principles to the specific setting of poisoning
  • LO5. Critique the available literature and identify credible information sources for the management of critically unwell patients
  • LO6. Analyse the use of important antidotes.
  • LO7. Critique the use and indications of mechanical and extracorporeal techniques in toxicology
  • LO8. Demonstrate a holistic and sensitive approach to the poisoned patient, recognising the biopsychosocial aspects of self-harm and suicidal behaviour
  • LO9. Identify safety issues such as child protection and family violence and incorporate these risks into the management and disposition plan
  • LO10. Liaise with associated services, such as mental health and social work, in addition to critical care and single-organ support teams

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

We value your feedback about any aspect of the unit of study and your experience as a student of Sydney Medical School. To help ensure our courses meet your needs and maintain a high standard, we welcome your feedback at any time and we ask you to complete the Mid-Semester Evaluation Survey and the unit of study Evaluation Survey at the end of the semester. You can also rate any component of the unit using our star rating system found at the bottom of many pages as you progress through the unit. Your ratings and comments are anonymous and specifying what you liked and didn’t like about any of the learning materials, assessment items, discussion forums, feedback etc will help us to target our improvement efforts. Please note that your participation in this unit of study permits de-identified information about your learning experience and interaction with learning resources to be used for the purpose of improving the student learning experience.


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