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February 23, 1981

The Epidemiology of Acute Acetaminophen Poisoning in England and Wales

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(3):397-400. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340030129024

• The mortality from analgesic poisoning in England and Wales has risen markedly during the last five years, but only a small increase in mortality from acetaminophen poisoning has been seen in the same period. Two separate epidemiologic studies of acetaminophen-overdose patients were undertaken during the two years from 1977 to 1978. Eighty-five percent of 1,644 patients and 95% of 341 patients arrived at the hospital within 12 hours of ingestion of an acetaminophen overdose. Although most patients who ingested hepatotoxic doses of acetaminophen were asymptomatic—437 (66%) of 667 and 26 (51%) of 51 patients—the absence of symptoms did not adversely affect the time of their arrival at the hospital.

(Arch Intern Med 1981;141:397-400)