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Management of deliberate self poisoning in adults in four teaching hospitals: descriptive study

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7134.831 (Published 14 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:831
  1. Navneet Kapur, research registrara,
  2. Allan House, senior lecturera,
  3. Francis Creed, professorb,
  4. Eleanor Feldmanc,
  5. Trevor Friedman, consultant in liaison psychiatryc,
  6. Elspeth Guthrie, senior lecturerb
  1. a Department of Liaison Psychiatry, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX
  2. b Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL
  3. c Leicester General Hospital, Leicester LE5 4PW
  1. Correspondence to: Dr N Kapur, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL
  • Accepted 23 September 1997

Deliberate self poisoning accounts for 100 000 hospital admissions in England and Wales every year, and its incidence is increasing.1 One per cent of patients kill themselves in the year following attendance.2 Good services to manage deliberate self poisoning in general hospitals might therefore help to achieve the targets set out by the Health of the Nation strategy to reduce suicide rates. Existing services have not been planned coherently; the care provided by hospitals varying greatly, even in the same region.3 We assessed the management of self poisoning in four teaching hospitals in England by using standardised methods of notification.

Subjects, methods, and results

We prospectively identified all patients over 16 years of age who attended four teaching hospitals in Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, and Nottingham for deliberate self poisoning during 4 weeks (November to December 1996). We obtained data by examining computerised databases on wards and in the accident and emergency department, referral ledgers, …

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