Case study 13: Paracetemol overdose

Paracetamol is one of the most readily available and widely used medications for pain relief. Taking more than the recommended dose of paracetamol has the potential to cause serious harm. The study evaluated the number of people admitted to public and private hospitals in the state of Victoria for paracetamol overdose, complications arising from the overdose, and the number of people who died from an overdose. The study found that:

  • An average of 2,095 people each year are admitted to hospital for paracetamol overdose in the state of Victoria
  • The majority of people admitted to hospital were aged between 15-19 years
    Nearly two thirds of overdoses were intentional
  • 1.1% of patients died within 30 days of being admitted to hospital for paracetamol overdose


How did the PHRN infrastructure help?
The Centre for Victorian Data Linkage linked hospital data with death data for the research team to analyse.

Authors/Contributors
Sood S, Howell J, Sundararajan V, Angus PW, Gow PJ.

Reference
Sood S, Howell J, Sundararajan V, Angus PW, Gow PJ. Paracetamol overdose in Victoria remains a significant health-care burden. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2013;28(8):1356-60. Accessed 14 April 2016 <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgh.12196/abstract>