Volume 27, Issue 4 (October 1982)
Death by Poisoning: A Ten-Year Survey of Dallas County
From 1971 through 1980, 1115 deaths were ascribed by the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office to poisoning of some type. An analysis of these deaths, with emphasis on the substances involved, is the purpose of this study. Relatively few agents or groups of agents accounted for 87% of these deaths: carbon monoxide, barbiturates, propoxyphene, narcotics, tricyclic antidepressants, ethyl alcohol, and inhalants (gases and solvents). Twenty-five percent of the deaths were classified as mixed intoxications, resulting from combinations of agents. Two major trends were observed: in the second five-year period, barbiturate-induced deaths decreased considerably (58%) and deaths from tricyclic antidepressants increased more than four times as compared with the first five-year period. Yearly statistics have been compiled for deaths from each agent.