Der Anaesthesist

, Volume 64, Issue 6, pp 456–462 | Cite as

Self-poisoning in the acute care medicine 2005–2012

  • M. Sorge
  • L. Weidhase
  • M. Bernhard
  • A. Gries
  • S. PetrosEmail author



To describe the trend of acute self-poisoning in the emergency and intensive care.


Electronic charts of adults who presented to the emergency department of the University Hospital Leipzig with self-poisoning following a suicide attempt (suicide group), intoxication (intoxication group), drug overdose for relief of pain or discomfort (drug overdose group) between 2005 and 2012 were analyzed.


3533 adults (62.6 % males) were identified, with the yearly admissions increasing from 305 in 2005 to 624 in 2012. The admission rate in relation to the total emergency department admissions also increased, from 1.2 % in 2005 to 1.9 % in 2012. 31.7 % of the patients were younger than 25 years. The reasons for self-poisoning were suicide attempt (18.1 %), intoxication (76.8 %) and drug overdose (2.9 %). The reason could not be clearly classified in 80 patients. Psychotropic drugs were used in 71.6 % of suicide attempts, while alcohol was the sole cause of intoxication in 80.1 % of cases in the intoxication group. Self-poisoning using at least two substances was observed in 52.0 % of the suicide attempts, 10.3 % of those with intoxication and 29.7 % of those with drug overdose. While alcohol remains the most common cause of intoxication, there was a drastic increase in the consumption of cannabinoids, Crystal Meth and gamma-hydroxybutyrate in the years 2011 and 2012. ICU admission was necessary in 16.6 % of the cases. There were 22 deaths (0.6 % of the study population), of whom 15 were in the suicide group (2.3 %), four (0.15 %) in the intoxication group, and three in the not clearly classified group (3.8 %).


Acute self-poisoning is an increasing medical issue. Psychotropic drugs remain the most common means of suicide attempt. Although alcohol intoxication is very frequent, intake of illicit drugs as the cause of emergency admission is increasing.


Deliberate self-harm Poisoning Drug abuse Emergency care Intensive care Intoxication 

Selbstvergiftung in der Akutmedizin – 2005–2012



Beschreibung des Trends der akuten Selbstvergiftung in der Notfall- und Intensivmedizin.


Elektronische Akten erwachsener Patienten, die zwischen 2005 und 2012 wegen einer akuten Selbstvergiftung infolge eines Selbstmordversuches (Selbstmordgruppe), einer Berauschung (Intoxikationsgruppe) oder Medikamentenüberdosierung zwecks Schmerzlinderung (Überdosierungsgruppe) in der Notaufnahme des Universitätsklinikums Leipzig eingewiesen worden waren, wurden ausgewertet.


3533 Patienten (62,6 % männlich) wurden identifiziert, mit einem Anstieg von 305 Fällen im Jahre 2005 auf 624 in 2012. Die Aufnahmerate bezogen auf die Gesamtaufnahmen stieg von 1,2 % im Jahre 2005 auf 1,9 % im Jahre 2012 an. 31,7 % der Patienten waren < 25 Jahre alt. Die Ursachen der Selbstvergiftung waren Suizidversuch (18,1 %), Intoxikation (76,8 %) und Medikamentenüberdosierung (2,9 %). Bei 80 Fällen war eine genaue Gruppenzuordnung nicht möglich. Während psychotrope Medikamente bei 71,6 % der Suizidversuche angewandt wurden, war Alkoholintoxikation die Ursache bei 80,1 % der Fälle in der Intoxikationsgruppe. Selbstvergiftung mit mindestens zwei Substanzen lag bei 52,0 % der Suizidversuche, 10,3 % der Intoxikationsgruppe und 29,7 % der Gruppe mit Medikamentenüberdosierung vor. Während die Alkoholintoxikation nach wie vor am häufigsten vorkam, gab es eine drastische Zunahme der Intoxikationen mit Cannabinoiden, Crystal Meth und Gamma-Hydroxybuttersäure in den Jahren 2011 und 2012. Eine Aufnahme auf die Intensivstation war bei 16,6 % der Fälle erforderlich. Es gab 22 Todesfälle (0,6 % der gesamten Studienpopulation), von denen 15 aus der Suizidgruppe (2,3 %), vier aus der Intoxikationsgruppe (0,15 %), und drei aus der nicht eindeutig zugeordneten Gruppe (3.8 %) waren.


Akute Selbstvergiftung ist ein zunehmendes medizinisches Problem. Psychotrope Medikamente stellen nach wie vor die häufigsten Suizidversuchsmittel dar. Obwohl die Alkoholintoxikation weiterhin am häufigsten vorkommt, nehmen illegale Drogen als notfallmedizinischer Einweisungsgrund zu.


Selbstvergiftung Drogenabusus Notfallmedizin Intoxikation Intensivmedizin 


Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

M. Sorge, L. Weidhase, M. Bernhard, A. Gries, S. Petros declare no conflict of interest.

The accompanying manuscript does not include studies on humans or animals.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Sorge
    • 1
  • L. Weidhase
    • 1
  • M. Bernhard
    • 2
  • A. Gries
    • 2
  • S. Petros
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Medical Intensive Care UnitUniversity Hospital LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Emergency DepartmentUniversity Hospital LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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