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Increasing rate of deliberate self poisoning [Correspondence]

Beck, P., Scorer, R., Lazarus, John Henry, Smith, P. and Routledge, Philip Alexander 1994. Increasing rate of deliberate self poisoning [Correspondence]. British Medical Journal 308 (6931) , p. 789. 10.1136/bmj.308.6931.789

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EDITOR, - We note with interest the recent figures highlighted by the Samaritans showing that the incidence of suicide in males seems to be increasing. Our experience indicates that this also applies to hospital admission for deliberate self poisoning. Since 1987 the Cardiff Poisons Treatment Unit has received more than 90% of all patients admitted with self poisoning in South Glamorgan (population 403 400). The table shows the data on men and women. Although violent methods and gassing are the commonest means of committing suicide or inflicting fatal self injury in England and Wales (36.8% and 30.4% of deaths respectively),1 self poisoning is the cause of death in 22% of cases. Non-fatal incidents of deliberate self poisoning may identify men at risk of subsequent fatal events. A regional poisons unit, as advocated in a report of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1983,2 enables psychiatric and social support to be coordinated for such patients as soon as they have recovered medically; we commend such an approach in tackling this difficult problem.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: BMJ
ISSN: 0267-0623
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 02:12

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