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Acute cocaine-related health problems in patients presenting to an urban emergency department in Switzerland: a case series

Bodmer, Michael and Enzler, Florian and Liakoni, Evangelia and Bruggisser, Marcel and Liechti, Matthias E.. (2014) Acute cocaine-related health problems in patients presenting to an urban emergency department in Switzerland: a case series. BMC Research Notes, 7. p. 173.

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Abstract

Emergency departments may be a useful information source to describe the demographics and clinical characteristics of patients with acute cocaine-related medical problems. We therefore conducted a retrospective analysis of 165 acute, laboratory-confirmed cocaine intoxications admitted to an urban emergency department in Switzerland between January 2007 and March 2011.; A total of 165 patients with a mean age of 32 years were included. Most patients were male (73%) and unemployed (65%). Only a minority (16%) had abused cocaine alone while 84% of the patients had used at least one additional substance, most commonly ethanol (41%), opioids (38%), or cannabis (36%) as confirmed by their detection in blood samples. The most frequently reported symptoms were chest pain (21%), palpitations (19%), anxiety (36%) and restlessness (36%). Psychiatric symptoms were present in 64%. Hypertension and tachycardia were observed in 53% and 44% of the patients, respectively. Severe poisonings only occurred in patients with multiple substance intoxication (15%). Severe intoxications were non-significantly more frequent with injected drug use compared to nasal, oral, or inhalational drug use. Severe complications included acute myocardial infarction (2 cases), stroke (one case), and seizures (3 cases). Most patients (75%) were discharged home within 24 h after admission. A psychiatric evaluation in the ED was performed in 24% of the patients and 19% were referred to a psychiatric clinic.; Patients with acute cocaine intoxication often used cocaine together with ethanol and opioids and presented with sympathomimetic toxicity and/or psychiatric disorders. Severe acute toxicity was more frequent with multiple substance use. Toxicity was typically short-lasting but psychiatric evaluation and referral was often needed.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Medizinische Fächer (Klinik) > Klinische Pharmakologie
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Medizinische Fächer (Klinik) > Klinische Pharmakologie
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedizin > Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel > Psychopharmacology Research (Liechti)
UniBasel Contributors:Liechti, Matthias Emanuel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
e-ISSN:1756-0500
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 10:53
Deposited On:04 Dec 2017 08:17

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