E for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders
Appendix 1: Reference Section
- 52 Numbers of Ecstasy-related deaths between January 1988 and
July 1992, held by the National Poisons Unit at Guy's Hospital on 8 March
- The deaths include those reported directly to the NPU by doctors seeking
advice and those picked up by the unit from press reports. The list is not
comprehensive. In particular, as knowledge of symptoms related to Ecstasy-use
spreads among the medical community, doctors make fewer queries to the NPU.
Ecstasy-related deaths are held to be confirmed if any amount of the drug
is found in the patient's blood or urine during treatment or in a postmortem.
In all the deaths picked up by the NPU, the level of MDMA present was very
low. Unconfirmed deaths are those in which the patient or others have reported
recent drug use verbally but no blood or urine sample has been taken.
- From January 1988 to July 1992, there were 14 confirmed deaths, of which
13 resulted from overheating and one from asthma, and 4 unconfirmed deaths,
including one from liver failure and one stroke.
- Of these, 2 confirmed deaths occurred in 1988; 2 confirmed deaths and
one unconfirmed death occurred in 1989; 7 confirmed deaths and one unconfirmed
death occurred in 1991; and 2 confirmed and two unconfirmed deaths occurred
- In 1992 there was also one confirmed death related to MDA and one confirmed
death related to MDEA.
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