UI Health Care introduces Medical Toxicology Clinic

Clinic is the first of its kind in Iowa, university says

Dr. Daniel McCabe, director of UI Health Care's Division of Medical Toxicology.
Dr. Daniel McCabe, director of UI Health Care's Division of Medical Toxicology. CREDIT UI HEALTH CARE

This month, University of Iowa Health Care is launching a Medical Toxicology Clinic to offer outpatient care for Iowans exposed to toxic substances, with the aim to identify the root causes of symptoms more swiftly and accurately.

Under the leadership of Dr. Daniel McCabe, director of the Division of Medical Toxicology, the pioneering clinic will employ a targeted diagnostic approach – versus ordering a myriad of tests – to provide a more cost-effective and efficient service.

“We are an expert resource for patients and referring providers in Iowa and our surrounding states,” Dr. McCabe said. “For many primary care physicians, they may see a severe poisoning case only once in their career. Every week we receive calls from providers asking for counsel on these types of cases. We know how to quickly assess each patients’ unique circumstances, including where and how the exposure may be occurring.”

The clinic will initially operate on alternate Wednesdays within the Medical Specialty Clinics at the university campus, accepting patients exclusively by referral. Prospective patients are advised to consult their primary care provider to determine if they are suitable candidates for the clinic’s services, according to a release.

Dr. McCabe expects to see a variety of patients and ailments, with heavy metal exposures likely to be the most common, particularly lead poisoning, which has historically been higher in the state of Iowa than the national average.

“Lead poisoning is extremely dangerous for children, those in certain job fields, and a few other vulnerable populations,” he said. “Our team is experienced with proven, effective treatments like chelation therapy, which uses special drugs to remove lead from the blood.”

The Medical Toxicology Clinic will also accept referrals from health care providers within the Veterans Health Administration, addressing toxic exposure cases affecting veterans. Additionally, the clinic will cater to patients experiencing issues from significant pesticide exposure.

“I’m excited to see this clinic launch and for how it can help centralize and improve patient outcomes across the upper Midwest,” Dr. McCabe said. “We can make a difference in these patients’ lives without having to admit them as an inpatient.”