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Home > Alcohol, drug misuse and suicide attempts: unrecognised causes of out of hospital cardiac arrests admitted to intensive care units.

McLaughlin, AM and Hardt, J and McKay, AP and Fitzpatrick, GJ and Donnelly, MB (2009) Alcohol, drug misuse and suicide attempts: unrecognised causes of out of hospital cardiac arrests admitted to intensive care units. Irish Journal of Medical Science , 178 , (1) , pp. 29-33.

AIM: To assess the contribution of alcohol, drug abuse and suicide attempts to out of hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) who are admitted to our intensive care unit (ICU).

METHODS: Retrospective review of all OHCA admitted to the ICU over a 2-year period.

RESULTS: There were 26 OHCA. Six patients survived, all of whom had a cardiac aetiology for their arrest. Ten patients arrested due to external factors (drug misuse n = 4, alcohol excess n = 1, suicide attempts n = 4 and accidental choking n = 1). All of the patients who arrested secondary to external factors were young (37.2 +/- 13.58 years), 90% were male and all died in hospital. All of the cases of drug misuse involved cocaine.

CONCLUSION: Alcohol, drug misuse and suicide attempts contribute significantly to the number of OHCA which are admitted to ICU. Moreover, cocaine usage has contributed to a number of OHCA in our study.


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