[Cases of acute poisoning admitted to a medical intensive care unit]

A Viertel, E Weidmann, H R Brodt
Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 2001 October 19, 126 (42): 1159-63

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Because of the paucity of information on the epidemiology of acute poisoning requiring intensive medical care, all such patients treated on the medical intensive care unit of the university hospital in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, between January 1993 and December 1999, were retrospectively evaluated.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Of the total of 6211 patients, 147 (80 women, 67 men, mean age 41 years, 2,3 %) were treated for acute intoxication in the intensive care unit.

RESULTS: Reasons for admission to the intensive care unit were the need for ventilator treatment or intensive monitoring of vital functions. 52 % of the patients (n = 76) had attempted suicide, most of them using anti-depressive drugs (n = 19), paracetamol (n = 16), or benzodiazepines (n = 9). Two patients (2,6 %) died. 48 % of the patients (n = 71) were admitted because of accidental poisoning. Leading toxic agents in this group were heroin (n = 19), alcohol (n = 18) and digitalis (n = 12). 11 patients had taken herbicides, animal poisons or chemicals used at work or for house cleaning. In this cohort, three i. v. drug abusers (4,2 %) had died. Depending on the agents used, a variety of treatments (charcoal, antidots, extracorporal therapy) were undertaken.

CONCLUSION: Due to excellent care in the prehospital phase and in the emergency room the number of patients requiring treatment on the intensive care unit was rather low. The mortality was in the range of other reports.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"