Risk factors for 48-hours mortality after prehospital treatment of opioid overdose

Emergency Medicine Journal, 04/24/2012

Wichmann S et al. – The author found a 48-hours mortality of 8.4%. Advanced age and opioid overdose in the weekends were significant risk factors. Release on scene after treatment was associated with a very small risk.

Methods

  • Data on all cases of opioid overdose treated by the medical emergency care unit between 1994 and 2003 were recorded prospectively.
  • Risk factors for death within 48 h after initial medical emergency care unit contact were analysed in a multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results

  • The authors recorded 4762 episodes of opioid overdose, covering 1967 unique identified patients.
  • A total of 78 patients (8.4%, 95% CI 7.0 to 10.4) died within 48 h in the period 1999-2003, and 85% (66/78) of these had cardiac arrest and died.
  • The authors found age >50years and overdose during the weekend significantly associated with 48-h mortality.
  • Gender, former episodes of opioid overdose, time of the day, month or year were not significantly associated with increased mortality.

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