March 21, 2018

DPH: CT EDs report 1,317 suspected drug overdoses in Jan., Feb.

There were 1,317 visits for suspected drug overdoses made to the emergency departments at Connecticut's 27 acute-care hospitals in the first two months of 2018, an average of more than 22 per day, according to preliminary estimates from the state Department of Public Health (DPH). Hartford County accounted for 30 percent of the total visits.

The data are being made available through a new project launched by DPH to use its existing Syndromic Surveillance System, known as EpiCenter, to gather real-time emergency department (ED) data on suspected drug overdoses in order to respond more quickly to changes in patterns of both fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses, DPH said.

According to DPH's preliminary data, Connecticut's EDs saw an average of 156 suspected drug overdose visits per week in January and February. The system provides information on the number of adolescent and adult ED visits for suspected drug overdose by county of residence. New Haven County saw a total of 405 suspected drug overdose visits, followed by Hartford County, 398; Fairfield County, 186; Middlesex County, 80; Litchfield County, 68; Tolland County, 64; Windham County, 62; and New London County, 54. DPH expects to have town-level data available for local health departments soon.

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