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Ann Emerg Med. 1991 Jun;20(6):616-21.

Cocaine-related symptoms in patients presenting to an urban emergency department.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

Cocaine abuse is a serious social problem that precipitates a significant number of emergency hospital encounters. To determine the nature of cocaine-related symptoms, we studied patients with cocaine use presenting to all adult services of an urban emergency department.

DESIGN:

Review of consecutive cases, with analysis of clinical features.

SETTING:

All adult EDs of an urban teaching hospital.

TYPE OF PARTICIPANTS:

Patients acknowledging recent use of cocaine (within 72 hours) and/or with cocaine detected on a toxicologic screen.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

Psychiatric complaints accounted for 44 (30.6%) presentations, followed by neurologic (17.4%), cardiopulmonary (16%), trauma (11.8%), and addiction-related (11.1%) symptoms. Cardiopulmonary symptoms were more frequently associated with intranasal than with IV or smoked cocaine (P = .003). Suicidal intent was the most common psychiatric reason for presentation, occurring in 24 patients (16.6%). Seventeen presented with trauma, including three involved in motor vehicle accidents.

CONCLUSION:

Cardiopulmonary symptoms such as chest pain and palpitations may be significantly more frequent in patients who use intranasal cocaine; suicidal intent is common among patients presenting with psychiatric symptoms related to cocaine; and the range of cocaine-related symptoms is varied, including not only psychiatric and cardiopulmonary symptoms but also trauma.

PMID:
2039099
DOI:
10.1016/s0196-0644(05)82378-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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