Study: Drug OD’s often mistaken for cardiac arrest

For Your Health

A study has found some drug overdoses are being mistakenly classified as cardiac arrest.

(CNN) — A new study suggests that overdose deaths might be under-reported.

Research, published in the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine, found that more than one in six deaths were mistakenly classified as Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest or OHCA when they were actually caused by an occult overdose.

The study’s authors say that’s when emergency medical services have a first impression of cardiac arrest and there’s no history or overt signs of a drug overdose.

To develop their findings researchers looked at hundreds of OHCA deaths in San Francisco County.

They say this overdose rate is specific to that area but point out San Francisco’s overdose mortality rate is nearly identical to the median overdose mortality rate among states.

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