Acta Med. 2021, 64: 91-95

Unintentional Opioid Overdoses Treated at University Clinic of Toxicology-Skopje in a Nine-Year-Period

Natasha Simonovskaa, Vesna Velik-Stefanovskab, Aleksandra Babulovskaa

aUniversity Clinic of Toxicology, Clinical Centre, “Mother Teresa”, Medical Faculty, Sts Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia
bInstitute of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Medical Faculty, Sts Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia

Received November 24, 2020
Accepted January 24, 2021

Background: The aim of this study was to assess the epidemiological profile of unintentional opioid overdoses, the prevalence and number of psychotropic substances involved in opioid overdoses.Methods: This was a descriptive study, in which 180 participants were enrolled, and covered a nine-years-period. For collecting data was used the National patient electronic system “My term”. The variables as gender, age, duration of opioid dependence, number of overdoses, type of substance, number of antidote ampoules, duration of hospitalization were analyzed. Severity of poisoning was made by using the Poison severity score. Results: Opioid overdose cases were significantly higher among males than females. Mean age with standard deviation (SD) was 32.23 ± 6.71 years. Mean years (±SD) of duration of opioid use disorder was 11.60 ± 5.89 years. The most commonly used primary substance was methadone in 68.89% and heroin in 31.11% cases. Twenty patients were treated with mechanical ventilation because of the severe respiratory depression. Poison severity score was moderate in 51.11%, severe in 45.56% and fatal in 3.33% of the cases. Conclusion: Most of the cases, predominantly males used one or two substances. The combination of methadone and benzodiazepine was most frequently used and the most common way was by injecting the abused substances. In most of the subjects PSS score was moderate and severe with no differences between genders.


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