DRUG INTOXICATION – OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN THE WORK OF EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS
Emergency Medical Service, Pančevo, Serbia
Benzodiazepines, as one of the most commonly (ab)used groups of drugs, are widely used in medicine and psychiatry, and have been used in clinical practice since the 60s of the 20th century The pharmacological profile of benzodiazepines includes the following effects: sedation, anxiolysis, hypnotic, myorelaxant and anticonvulsant effects on somatic and psychological correlates of anxiety. It is a well-known fact that benzodiazepines belong to a relatively safe and well-tolerated group of drugs, with an increased risk of abuse. Benzodiazepines, alone or in combination, account for 60% of all medication poisonings, of which 72.9% of the total benzodiazepine poisonings are caused by diazepam and 13.3% by midazolam. In developed countries, benzodiazepines are the cause of 30-40% of all causes of poisoning, while in developing countries this percentage is much higher. These drugs do not depress the respiratory center even in high doses, but in combination with other depressants, especially alcohol, they can cause respiratory arrest.
The paper presents two authentic cases of deliberate poisoning with benzodiazepines. There is a great need to raise the professional competencies of emergency doctors in the field, but also doctors working in emergency departments, in order to timely manage to recognize and adequately care for such patients. Neither the world nor domestic statistics that investigate the incidence of poisoning, especially poisoning with benzodiazepine preparations, do not work for us, which only emphasizes the need to keep his knowledge and experience at a very high level.