Role of a prehospital medical system in reducing heroin-related deaths

G. Bertini, L. Russo, F. Cricelli, A. Daraio, C. Giglioli, C. Pini, C. Poli, T. Taddei, A. Taiti, G. Terni, G. Gensini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The mortality rate from heroin overdose in Italy between 1977 and 1987 increased significantly. However, in the same period, a significant increase was not observed in Tuscany, an administrative region in Italy. This study was performed to determine if the prehospital emergency medical system of Florence, the capital of Tuscany (the only one operating in Italy during the study period), affected this lower mortality rate. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: The Florence system consists of 17 mobile ICUs, each of which is staffed by a physician and three paramedics. These units are able to carry out advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation with equipment transported to the scene of an emergency. Patients: A total of 126 consecutive patients with heroin overdose, assisted by four mobile ICUs from January 1, 1984 through December 31, 1987. Interventions: Common therapeutic protocol in the treatment of heroin overdose and of cardiac arrest. Results: Fifty-two (41.3%) patients were in respiratory arrest, and seven (5.6%) patients were in cardiorespiratory arrest. The prehospital mortality rate was 1.6%, the inhospital mortality rate was 0.8%, and the overall mortality rate was 2.4%. During the period considered, the number of heroin overdose-related interventions increased significantly, as did the number of heroin overdoses complicated by respiratory arrest or by cardiorespiratory arrest, but the mortality-rate remained low. Conclusion: We suggest that an emergency medical system can play an important role in reducing the mortality rate from heroin overdose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Volume20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992

Fingerprint

Heroin
Mortality
Italy
Emergencies
Allied Health Personnel
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Clinical Protocols
Hospital Mortality
Heart Arrest
Retrospective Studies
Economics
Physicians
Equipment and Supplies

Keywords

  • cardiac- arrest
  • drugs
  • emergency medical service
  • heroin
  • narcotics
  • opiates
  • overdose
  • poisoning
  • pulmonary edema
  • resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

Bertini, G., Russo, L., Cricelli, F., Daraio, A., Giglioli, C., Pini, C., ... Gensini, G. (1992). Role of a prehospital medical system in reducing heroin-related deaths. Critical Care Medicine, 20(4), 493-498.

Role of a prehospital medical system in reducing heroin-related deaths. / Bertini, G.; Russo, L.; Cricelli, F.; Daraio, A.; Giglioli, C.; Pini, C.; Poli, C.; Taddei, T.; Taiti, A.; Terni, G.; Gensini, G.

In: Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1992, p. 493-498.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bertini, G, Russo, L, Cricelli, F, Daraio, A, Giglioli, C, Pini, C, Poli, C, Taddei, T, Taiti, A, Terni, G & Gensini, G 1992, 'Role of a prehospital medical system in reducing heroin-related deaths', Critical Care Medicine, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 493-498.
Bertini G, Russo L, Cricelli F, Daraio A, Giglioli C, Pini C et al. Role of a prehospital medical system in reducing heroin-related deaths. Critical Care Medicine. 1992;20(4):493-498.
Bertini, G. ; Russo, L. ; Cricelli, F. ; Daraio, A. ; Giglioli, C. ; Pini, C. ; Poli, C. ; Taddei, T. ; Taiti, A. ; Terni, G. ; Gensini, G. / Role of a prehospital medical system in reducing heroin-related deaths. In: Critical Care Medicine. 1992 ; Vol. 20, No. 4. pp. 493-498.
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AU - Pini, C.

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AB - Objective: The mortality rate from heroin overdose in Italy between 1977 and 1987 increased significantly. However, in the same period, a significant increase was not observed in Tuscany, an administrative region in Italy. This study was performed to determine if the prehospital emergency medical system of Florence, the capital of Tuscany (the only one operating in Italy during the study period), affected this lower mortality rate. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: The Florence system consists of 17 mobile ICUs, each of which is staffed by a physician and three paramedics. These units are able to carry out advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation with equipment transported to the scene of an emergency. Patients: A total of 126 consecutive patients with heroin overdose, assisted by four mobile ICUs from January 1, 1984 through December 31, 1987. Interventions: Common therapeutic protocol in the treatment of heroin overdose and of cardiac arrest. Results: Fifty-two (41.3%) patients were in respiratory arrest, and seven (5.6%) patients were in cardiorespiratory arrest. The prehospital mortality rate was 1.6%, the inhospital mortality rate was 0.8%, and the overall mortality rate was 2.4%. During the period considered, the number of heroin overdose-related interventions increased significantly, as did the number of heroin overdoses complicated by respiratory arrest or by cardiorespiratory arrest, but the mortality-rate remained low. Conclusion: We suggest that an emergency medical system can play an important role in reducing the mortality rate from heroin overdose.

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