Outcomes associated with hospital admissions for accidental opioid overdose in British Columbia: a retrospective cohort study.BMJ Open. 2019 05 05; 9(5):e025567.BO
To study the association between accidental opioid overdose and neurological, respiratory, cardiac and other serious adverse events and whether risk of these adverse events was elevated during hospital readmissions compared with initial admissions.
Retrospective cohort study.
Population-based study using linked administrative data in British Columbia, Canada.
The primary analysis included 2433 patients with 2554 admissions for accidental opioid overdose between 2006 and 2015, including 121 readmissions within 1 year of initial admission. The secondary analysis included 538 patients discharged following a total of 552 accidental opioid overdose hospitalizations and 11 040 matched controls from a cohort of patients with ≥180 days of prescription opioid use.
The primary outcome was encephalopathy; secondary outcomes were adult respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory failure, pulmonary haemorrhage, aspiration pneumonia, cardiac arrest, ventricular arrhythmia, heart failure, rhabdomyolysis, paraplegia or tetraplegia, acute renal failure, death, a composite outcome of encephalopathy or any secondary outcome and total serious adverse events (all-cause hospitalisation or death). We analysed these outcomes using generalised linear models with a logistic link function.
3% of accidental opioid overdose admissions included encephalopathy and 25% included one or more adverse events (composite outcome). We found no evidence of increased risk of encephalopathy (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.13 to 2.49) or other outcomes during readmissions versus initial admissions. In the secondary analysis, <5 patients in each cohort experienced encephalopathy. Risk of the composite outcome (OR 2.15; 95% CI 1.48 to 3.12) and all-cause mortality (OR 2.13; 95% CI 1.18 to 3.86) were higher for patients in the year following overdose relative to controls.
We found no evidence that risk of encephalopathy or other adverse events was higher in readmissions compared with initial admissions for accidental opioid overdose. Risk of serious morbidity and mortality may be elevated in the year following an accidental opioid overdose.