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ABSTRACT: There's a fact, that Hungary has held the first places in suicidal statstics. The authors studied toxicological cases between 1989 and 1998 at the 1st Department of Medicine of the Medical and Health Science Centre, at the University of Debrecen, paying special attention to suicidal poisoning cases. 2% of the patient turnover accounted for acute poisoning cases, the number of which increased during the 10 years in question. 70% of the cases were of suicidal intentions, 20% were unintentional, these poisonings were not committed on purpose, while the proportion of iatrogenic intoxication cases was 10%. Amongst the failed suicide cases there was a higher proportion of women, whereas a higher percentage of men accounted for "successful" suicide cases. When examining auto-intoxication cases it turned out that the medicine most frequently used was meprobamate, besides benzodiazepines. Mortality rate was highest in the glutethimide intoxication cases. Most poisonings with suicidal intentions took place in the 2nd quarter of the year. Most completed suicides were committed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 81% of the iatrogenic intoxication cases happened to be with digitalis and coumarin overdose. Nearly 50% of the cases turned out to be combined intoxications. 40% of the men took alcoholic drinks during the auto-intoxications. In the case of 135 patients extracorporeal detoxification therapy was applied, which consisted mostly of hemoperfusion. Three quarters of the patients needed psychiatric care and every fourth patient was admitted to the Department of Psychiatry. 6.9% of the poisonings were fatal. The growing number of toxicological cases--amongst these suicidal poisonings--compels us to pay more attention to the setting up of interdisciplinary based prevention as well as running effective toxicological centres. All physicians have a responsibility to recommend psychiatric care for people suffering from mental problems or depression and for the unsuccessful or potential suicide seeking help for the first time. Family doctors in primary medical care and who meet patients first have an important role in this job.
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Debreceni Egyetem, Orvos- és Egészségtudományi CentrumDebreczyn, Hajdú-Bihar, Hungary