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A review of the management of oral drug overdose in the Accident and Emergency Department of the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
  1. D W Hodgkinson,
  2. L B Jellett,
  3. R H Ashby
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Australia.


    Two-hundred and eighty-nine patients who made a total of 323 presentations to the Royal Brisbane Hospital Accident and Emergency Department with a known or suspected oral drug overdose were reviewed. The majority of patients (76%) could be managed in a 24 h Accident and Emergency observation unit. Activated charcoal given orally or via a nasogastric tube was the recommended method of preventing further absorption of an ingested drug. The use of syrup of ipecac was not encouraged and orogastric lavage was used in only specific situations. The morbidity and mortality of these patients when compared with other studies, was not adversely affected by this protocol which dramatically reduced the indications for the use of orogastric lavage and syrup of ipecac.

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