BARBITURATE intoxication continues to be a public health hazard despite improved therapy. Advocates of analeptic,1,2 conservative,3,4 diuretic,5 and dialytic therapy 6 have presented their respective cases, without producing a universally accepted approach to therapy. A high annual mortality persists.
This report presents information gained from the study of severe barbiturate poisoning. It is particularly valuable because: (1) all patients were studied in depth by the Renal and Electrolyte Division of Georgetown University Hospital, rather than reviewed in a record room series; (2) they were selectively referred because of severity; (3) the study includes a long-term evaluation of therapy by hemodialysis, recent experience with peritoneal dialysis and a program of forced diuresis and a period of trial with analeptics; and (4) unlike other studies most of our patients took short-acting barbiturates.
One hundred and seventy-three cases of barbiturate intoxication were studied in 163 patients between February
JOHN G. SETTER, JOHN F. MAHER, GEORGE E. SCHREINER. Barbiturate IntoxicationEvaluation of Therapy Including Dialysis in a Large Series Selectively Referred Because of Severity. Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(2):224–236. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870080068011