Document Detail

Underreporting of fatal cases to a regional poison control center.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7618309     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We assessed fatal drug overdose and poisoning case surveillance by a regional poison control center, comparing it with medical examiner determinations of death by poisoning over the same 2-year period and from the same catchment area. We studied 358 fatal cases of poisoning or drug overdose reported by a medical examiner and 10 fatal cases of poisoning or drug overdose reported by a poison control center, analyzing demographics and other case-associated factors with with possible successful poison control center case surveillance. Of the medical examiner cases, 245 (68%) were prehospital deaths. Of the remaining 113 emergency department or hospital cases, only 5 (4.4%) were also reported to the poison control center. Compared with cases involving illicit drugs, other narcotics, and sedative drugs, those that involved other prescription drugs (relative odds, 30.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.7 to 351) and over-the-counter products and other substances (odds ratio, 18.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.4 to 257) were significantly more likely to be reported to the poison control center. Most fatal cases of poisoning and drug overdose are not detected through poison control center surveillance. For prevention and treatment, health planners and policy makers should recognize the implications of case underreporting.
P D Blanc; T E Kearney; K R Olson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Western journal of medicine     Volume:  162     ISSN:  0093-0415     ISO Abbreviation:  West. J. Med.     Publication Date:  1995 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-08-22     Completed Date:  1995-08-22     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410504     Medline TA:  West J Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  505-9     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
School of Medicine, San Francisco Bay Area Regional Poison Control Center, San Francisco General Hospital, CA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Catchment Area (Health)
Coroners and Medical Examiners
Disease Notification
Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
Hospital Mortality
Hypnotics and Sedatives / poisoning
Narcotics / poisoning
Nonprescription Drugs / poisoning
Overdose / mortality*,  prevention & control
Poison Control Centers / statistics & numerical data*
Poisoning / mortality*,  prevention & control
Population Surveillance
Regional Medical Programs / statistics & numerical data*
Retrospective Studies
San Francisco / epidemiology
Street Drugs / poisoning
Grant Support
R49/CCR903697//PHS HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Hypnotics and Sedatives; 0/Narcotics; 0/Nonprescription Drugs; 0/Street Drugs
Comment In:
West J Med. 1995 Jun;162(6):552-3   [PMID:  7618324 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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