Challenges doctors face when treating drug patients

A TOOWOOMBA doctor has spoken of the challenges medical professionals face when treating patients impacted by drugs.

It comes as News Corp Australia this week concluded its series The Ripple Effect, looking at how party drugs can impact the wider community.

Darling Downs Health’s clinical director for emergency medicine, Dr Paul Ferguson, said one pill could be made up of multiple drugs, which could pose a challenge to doctors.

“It can sometimes be challenging for our doctors and nurses in our emergency departments to treat someone affected by drugs, because often it is not just one drug but a combination in the one pill,” Dr Ferguson said.

“This combination of multiple drug interactions and the person’s specific response to these drugs often makes management difficult.”

Dr Ferguson said drug use could impact patients in a number of ways.

“Patients who are affected by drugs can experience altered consciousness, injuries from trauma/assault, aggressive behaviour, incontinence, cardiac arrhythmias, and hyperthermia. Drug use in some cases can also be fatal,” he said.

”Although the Toowoomba Hospital Emergency Department often manages drug related cases, MDMA cases in isolation are less common.

“Our message is to think twice before taking any non-prescribed drugs, and if you are concerned about your safety or health, contact a health professional, 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or triple-0 in an emergency.”



MORE DETAILS: What is causing Telstra outages in Ballina?

Premium Content MORE DETAILS: What is causing Telstra outages in Ballina?

Residents may not be able to use phones during 'planned maintenance'

Lismore council wasted 7 million of litres of water

Premium Content Lismore council wasted 7 million of litres of water

THE stormwater from a waste facility was discharged into a local creek.