BACKGROUND: This article describes the retrospective analysis of the patients who presented with a drug-related intoxication to the emergency department of the Erasmus Medical Centre in 2000. METHODS: Data were collected from the emergency department's electronic database and the medical charts of the patients. RESULTS: A total of 243 patients were seen with a drug-related intoxication caused by ingestion of one or more medical substances, drugs of abuse (DOA) or combinations with alcohol. Mono-intoxication occurred in 58% of the patients, predominantly caused by DOA (56 patients), analgesics (17 patients) or benzodiazepines (14 patients). Benzodiazepines (55 patients), analgesics (42 patients), alcohol (42 patients), DOA (40 patients) and antidepressants (23 patients) were predominant in combined intoxications. More than half of the patients (142) were discharged after being treated in the emergency department and 80 patients were admitted to the wards. Eighteen patients were admitted elsewhere and three patients were lost to follow-up. Eventually, 70 patients were discharged after having been admitted, five patients were admitted to other institutions, two patients died and three patients were lost to follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: DOA, benzodiazepines, analgesics, alcohol and antidepressants accounted for approximately 65% of the drug-related intoxications in 2000 and in a third of the presenting patients, toxicity was such that admission to the wards was warranted.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
The Netherlands Journal of Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Vermes, A., Roelofsen, E., Sabadi, G., van den Berg, B., de Quelerij, M., & Vulto, A. (2003). Intoxication with therapeutic and illicit drug substances and hospital admission to a Dutch university hospital. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from