Methamphetamine Production Is Hazardous to Your Health

Trauma, Burn, and Surgical Critical Care Program, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007, USA.
The Journal of trauma (Impact Factor: 2.96). 06/2009; 66(6):1712-7; discussion 1717. DOI: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181a0e589
Source: PubMed


To describe the thermal injuries related to methamphetamine (METH) production, characterize patients' courses, and compare patients with matched controls and to the previously published series.
Trauma registry data from January 2001 to November 2005 was retrospectively reviewed. METH patients were compared with other burn patients of similar age and total body surface area burn size for toxicology, injury extent, therapies, hospital course, outcomes, and hospital charges. The METH group was compared with the other published series of METH-related burn patients.
Twenty-nine patients (86.2% male) had METH-related burns. METH and control groups were similar in age, gender, predicted resuscitation fluid volume, and total body surface area. Mortality, mean length of stay, surgical procedures, and mean hospital charges did not differ significantly between the groups. Endotracheal intubation was required more frequently in METH patients (55.2% vs. 24.1%, p = 0.020). METH patients mean resuscitation volume was greater than controls (9,638 mL vs. 6,633 mL, p = 0.011), but neither group exceeded the volume predicted by the Parkland formula. More METH patients had inhalation injury (41.4% vs. 13.8%, p = 0.019). A METH patient was more likely to have a complication than his matched control (p = 0.049), and pneumonia was more frequent in the METH group (p = 0.005). Private insurance was less common in METH patients (10.3% vs. 58.6%, p < 0.001).
METH patients suffer more frequent inhalation injuries, need greater initial fluid resuscitation volume, require endotracheal intubation more frequently, and are more likely to have complications than matched controls. This does not translate to greater mortality, longer length of stay, more surgical procedures, or significantly greater hospital charges. Few METH patients hold private insurance.

11 Reads

  • Disease-a-month: DM 02/2012; 58(2):38-89. DOI:10.1016/j.disamonth.2011.09.004 · 0.95 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Legislation enacted to curb methamphetamine production has only temporarily succeeded. Experiencing a recent increase in burns as a result of the new one-pot method, we compared methamphetamine related burn patients who utilized the previous anhydrous ammonia method of production to current patients who largely used the new one-pot method of production. BASIC PROCEDURES: Patients who were burned as a result of methamphetamine production were retrospectively reviewed. Comparisons were made including demographics, length of stay, injury severity score, hospital charges, total body surface area burned, inhalation injury, intubation, ventilator days, toxicology, fluid volumes, surgeries and complications. MAIN FINDINGS: Eighteen current study patients (88.9% male) were compared to twenty-nine (86.2% male) previous study patients. The groups were similar in age, pattern of burn injury and intubation. Total body surface area burned, injury severity score, inhalation injuries, and ventilator days were not significantly increased in the current study. Longer length of stay and greater hospital charges were incurred by the current group. Burn surgeries per patient were significantly increased in the current group. PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS: A new one-pot method has emerged despite legislative attempts to curtail methamphetamine production, and burns have also increased. The reason for more extensive burn surgeries in the current METH related burn patients remains enigmatic. Severity of injury and cost to society remain high.
    Burns: journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries 04/2012; 39(1). DOI:10.1016/j.burns.2012.03.003 · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clandestine laboratory operators commonly extract ephedrine and pseudoephedrine-precursor chemicals used to synthesize methamphetamine-from over-the-counter cold/allergy/sinus products. To prevent this activity, two states, Oregon in 07/2006 and Mississippi in 07/2010, implemented regulations classifying ephedrine and pseudoephedrine as Schedule III substances, making products containing them available by prescription only. Using simple pre-regulation versus post-regulation comparisons, reports claim that the regulations have substantially reduced clandestine laboratory seizures (an indicator of laboratory prevalence) in both states, motivating efforts to implement similar regulation nationally. This study uses ARIMA-intervention time-series analysis to more rigorously evaluate the regulations' impacts on laboratory seizures. Monthly counts of methamphetamine clandestine laboratory seizures were extracted from the Clandestine Laboratory Seizure System (2000-early 2011) for Oregon, Mississippi and selected nearby states (for quasi-control). Seizures in Oregon and nearby western states largely bottomed out months before Oregon's regulation, and changed little thereafter. No significant impact for Oregon's regulation was found. Mississippi and nearby states generally had elevated seizures before Mississippi's regulation. Mississippi experienced a regulation-associated drop of 28.9 seizures (50.2%) in the series level (p<0.01), while nearby states exhibited no comparable decline. Oregon's regulation encountered a floor effect, making any sizable impact infeasible. Mississippi, however, realized a substantial impact, suggesting that laboratories, if sufficiently extant, can be meaningfully impacted by prescription precursor regulation. It follows that national prescription precursor regulation would have little impact in western states with low indicated laboratory prevalence, but may be of significant use in regions facing higher indicated prevalence.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 05/2012; 126(1-2):55-64. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.04.011 · 3.42 Impact Factor
Show more