The impact of a Respiratory Care Unit on outcomes of care for patients hospitalized with intentional drug overdose was examined by comparing the experience of patients admitted during the two years before and after the opening of the unit. The two groups were comparable for all traits measured in assessing prognosis. The findings indicate no reduction in mortality (7% and 5%), a shorter duration of hospitalization (5.3 vs 7.4 days), fewer complications (26% vs 37%), and no increase in hospital charges ($1,804 vs $1,822) for patients treated after the opening of the Respiratory Care Unit (RCU) to which the majority were admitted.
These findings, together with assumed educational benefits, support the use of RCU facilities for the treatment of patients with drug overdose admitted to this institution.
Piper KW, Griner PF. Suicide Attempts With Drug Overdose: Outcomes of Intensive vs Conventional Floor Care. Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(4):703–706. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320220105013
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