Friday, 20 December 2013

Medications the most comon cause of poisoning in Shanghai

by Michael Woodhead
Overdoses of medications such as sedatives and OTC cough remedies are the most common reasons for people needing treating for acute poisoning in Shanghai hospitals, a study has shown.
A review by forensic scientists of 230 cases of acute poisoning treated at Shanghai hospitals found that the most frequent substances leading to acute poisoning were sedative-hypnotic drugs, antipsychotic drugs, antiepileptics, cough suppressants, analgesics, antidiarrheals, and histamine receptor antagonists. Other common reasons for poisoning were ingestion of pesticides, volatile compounds, and natural toxins. Overall, medications accounted for 48% of female poisonings and 40% of male poisonings.
The researchers aid it was interesting that pesticide ingestion accounted for only 17% of all acute poisonings, which was a figure lower than for less developed parts of China. Also of interest was the very low rate of acute alcohol poisoning, which only accounted for two cases (1% of total poisonings). The researchers said this might be because alcohol poisoning was easily recognised and often self treated.
"In conclusion, the pattern of acute poisonings in Shanghai is similar to that of Japan and some European countries in that acute poisonings are mainly due to medications," the study authors wrote.
"Therefore, the relevant government departments should develop more publicity, education, and management strategies for the rational and safe use of medications. In addition, Shanghai should establish more counseling agencies and websites to address the mental problems of the public that have been brought about by rapid economic development."
Source: Journal of Forensic Sciences

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