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Accidental Prescription Drug Overdose


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#1 jwmstudio

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:38 PM

What would happen if someone accidentally took too much of something like Xanax? Assuming they were asleep/ sleepy but able to regain consciousness and a relative took them to the emergency room to be safe, what would happen? The prescription is valid and it's not a suicide attempt. The emergency room is in a very small hospital in a very small town. Thanks!


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#2 Aightball

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:07 PM

If the hospital is tiny, they'd probably pump the patient's stomach and then arrange transfer out to a bigger hospital. An overdose of something as strong as Xanax, no matter how well they come out of it, requires monitoring for a few hours to make sure everything is fine. Most small hospitals can handle intake care but will need to transfer out asap.


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#3 Yuan Francois

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:25 PM

Cardiac arrest - ask Michael Jackson :3

Im kidding, I really don't know.


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#4 jwmstudio

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:48 PM

Would they pump her stomach even if she was conscious and coming out of it? Her sister brought her in as a precaution more than an actual emergency.

She doesn't have insurance. Could she resist the transfer? Couldn't they monitor her in the small hospital? What kind of follow up if any would there be after she is discharged. Thank for the help!
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#5 jwmstudio

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:50 PM

Would there be a better drug choice than Xanax? It needs to be something she takes for anxiety.
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#6 Aightball

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:39 PM

Xanax is the best for anxiety that I'm aware of...and yeah, she could try to refuse the transfer, but a overdose is a life threatening situation, no matter what. Even if she's starting to come out of it, pumping her stomach is a good course of action. As to follow up...she'd be monitored for a day or two, likely in the hospital and then have to visit with the prescribing physician to get her doses right. 

 

Again, yes, the smaller hospital probably could monitor her, but overdoses are something most super small hospitals aren't equipped for. She might not need a level one trauma center, but she'd need a bigger hospital for sure. There might be someone here with more knowledge than I, but this is what I know.


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#7 jwmstudio

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:03 PM

What is it like to have your stomach pumped? Would they do an IV afterwards to rehydrate her? Thanks for the help with this. The overdose isnt a huge part of the story, but I want to be accurate. I was hoping to avoid the stomach pumping thing, bur its not a deal breaker. Thanks again!
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#8 Aightball

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:02 PM

I've never had mine pumped, thank goodness, but my understanding is that most places can use something called activated charcoal or water or saline. I was looking for a good scholarly explanation, but this was the best I could find:

 

http://www.ask.com/q...-stomach-pumped

 

or

 

http://search2.mayoc...tput=xml_no_dtd

 

Those should help, esp. that last one. I used to research this for my stories. I suggest The Mayo Clinic or the National Institutes of Health website. Don't trust Web MD or anything like that. Wikipedia can be a spring board to give you some ideas of what to search for but it's not necessarily a good resource.


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis:

Twitter Hook(s):

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#9 jwmstudio

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:10 AM

Thanks!
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#10 Corin.Hamelton

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 07:21 AM

super small towns don't usually have hospitals, they have clinics AT BEST.  That'll be a small station that can receive patients and then transfer them out by ambulance.

 

A pt can attempt to refuse but in this situation it wouldn't be acceptable because the situation looks too much like a suicide attempt and no amount of explanation is going to change that without a psyche consult.  The patient would be sectioned and forced to go... that's how it is in Canada and I can't imagine that it would be any different in the US with all the lawsuits for negligence there.

 

The most common anxiety drug overdose that I have seen (for suicide) is Seroquil.  In large doses it can cause cardiac dysrhythmias and seizures.  But it takes a lot of these kinds of medications to OD... it's not a very believable thing to say that it was accidental that a patient consumed 10-20 tablets.

 

Also, people vomit when they try to take too many of any nasty kind of drug (well, except maybe anti-emetics) so people trying to commit suicide by pills have to do it a few pills at a time.

 

IV's would be initiated as a method of medication delivery right away.  As a paramedic, that's something I would already have in place before the hospital for my own medication route.  I might give narcan if the pt was drowsy and vitals were soft (it wouldn't work here but I might try it if I don't have a definitive mechanism for this presentation)... We also check blood sugar and there's a urine and blood sample taken in the ER (if they have the facilities to test it)... Activated charcoal for sure to arrest the remainder of drugs in the stomach so that they aren't absorbed into the blood stream...but the patient has to be conscious to drink it. I actually haven't seen a hospital pump a stomach in a very long time.


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#11 Terradi

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

I had an ex that heavily OD'd on painkillers, then called a friend who called the hospital.  He had more than half a bottle.  I honestly don't remember what they did in immediate response to the fact that he'd taken so many,  but I do remember that psych observation was mandatory due to the strong suspicion that he'd attempted suicide (I live in New York State).  He never stated or admitted to having suicidal thoughts, just said that he wanted the pain to go away so he kept taking pills.  This was after he'd had an ileostomy, and the skin was still very tender and sensitive.  

 

If you take too much of any drug, they probably won't believe you if you say it wasn't suicide. 

 

~

 

One of my coworkers had his very young son take one of his wife's anxiety pills by accident.  They rushed him to the ER just to be safe, but mostly he just acted a bit loopy and out of it.  The doctors kept him under observation for a bit just to be safe, then sent him home.  






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