Repeat drug overdoses raise risk for hospitalization - 8 News NOW

Repeat drug overdoses raise risk for hospitalization, ventilator care

Updated: March 11, 2014 02:13 PM
© iStockphoto / Thinkstock © iStockphoto / Thinkstock

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People treated at emergency rooms more than once a year for overdoses on narcotic drugs are more likely to be put on a ventilator and to be hospitalized, a new study finds.

Researchers also identified a number of risk factors that increase the likelihood of repeat emergency-room visits for overdoses on narcotics -- also known as opioids.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 20,000 adults in California and Florida who received emergency-room treatment for a narcotic overdose at least once in 2010. They looked at both prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin and illegal drugs such as heroin.

Nearly 7 percent of those patients had two or more emergency-room visits for narcotic overdoses in 2011, with some having as many as five visits, according to the study. About 10 percent of all overdose patients required breathing help with a mechanical ventilator, and the death rate was 1 percent.

In Florida, the cost of emergency-room visits for narcotic overdoses during the one-year follow-up period was $208 million, and 92 percent of that total involved patients with more than one hospitalization, according to the study.

The researchers also found possible patient risk factors associated with repeated emergency-room visits for narcotic overdoses. These included having low income; Medicare or Medicaid coverage; and health problems such as alcohol or drug addiction, psychiatric or neurological conditions, and chronic pulmonary disease.

The study is scheduled for publication in the April issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study that has identified risk factors for repeat [emergency-room] visits for opioid overdose," lead author Dr. Kohei Hasegawa, of the department of emergency medicine at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a hospital news release.

"The dilemma of treating pain appropriately while avoiding opioid-associated adverse events is complicated by insufficient data on those risk factors, and better understanding will help us develop more targeted preventive care," Hasegawa said.

The researchers said increased use of narcotic drugs for pain management led to a 183 percent rise in emergency-room visits for narcotic overdoses in the United States between 2004 and 2011.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about narcotics and pain management.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • Breath test can test for illnesses

    Breath test can test for illnesses

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:00:17 GMT
    With most diseases, an early diagnosis means a better prognosis, but sometimes it's difficult, painful and expensive to test for illnesses. Now there's a new way to spot a variety of conditions and all it takes is a simple breath.More>>
    With most diseases, an early diagnosis means a better prognosis, but sometimes it's difficult, painful and expensive to test for illnesses. Now there's a new way to spot a variety of conditions and all it takes is a simple breath.More>>
  • Gastric bypass for diabetes type II patients

    Gastric bypass for diabetes type II patients

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:00:15 GMT
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050.
    More>>
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050.

    More>>
  • New 3D technology for knee replacements

    New 3D technology for knee replacements

    Monday, July 14 2014 4:41 PM EDT2014-07-14 20:41:39 GMT
    In the past 10 years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before.More>>
    In the past 10 years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before.More>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.