Document Detail

Heroin body packers.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8445184     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Fourteen body packers carrying 2-112 heroin packages are reported. Nine people swallowed the packets, and five inserted them rectally. The ingested packages were large and radio-opaque; they consisted of hard lumps of concentrated heroin usually covered with glove latex, white adhesive tape, and a toy balloon. There were two complications in the 14 patients. One patient developed a bowel obstruction; at laparotomy 8 packages were found in the stomach and 27 at the ileo-cecal valve. Another patient, with heroin wrapped only with black electrician's tape and no latex inner or outer wrappings, developed heroin intoxication, noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, and a bowel obstruction. Eighteen packages were surgically removed from his stomach and 26 from his bowel. We recommend bisacodyl suppositories, activated charcoal mixed with a 3% sodium sulfate cathartic, and phosphosoda enemas for package removal; close observation for heroin toxicity or bowel obstruction; and surgical intervention for continuing toxicity, retention of packages in the stomach, or bowel obstruction.
M J Utecht; A F Stone; M M McCarron
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of emergency medicine     Volume:  11     ISSN:  0736-4679     ISO Abbreviation:  J Emerg Med     Publication Date:    1993 Jan-Feb
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1993-04-06     Completed Date:  1993-04-06     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8412174     Medline TA:  J Emerg Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  33-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.
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MeSH Terms
Administration, Oral
Administration, Rectal
Drug Packaging
Foreign-Body Reaction / physiopathology,  radiography,  therapy*
Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology,  radiography,  therapy*
Heroin / poisoning*
Reg. No./Substance:

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