Body packers: can CT determine the number of drug packets?
Body packer 2.5 out of 5 stars Sensitivity and specificity of CT scanning for determining the number of internally concealed packages in ‘body-packers.’ Asha SE et al. Emerg Med J 2014 Feb 19. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2013-203389. [Epub ahead of print] Abstract Although the abdominal CT scan has been shown to be relatively accurate for determining the presence or absence of drug packets in suspected body packers, there is no good data as whether or not the test is accurate in determining the number of such packets. The abstract of this paper suggests that the authors — from Sydney’s St. George Hospital — retrospectively reviewed hospital records of 50 confirmed body packers to study whether or not abdominal CT was reliable for counting the number of packets in the GI tract of these patients. However, buried in the results section is an admission that because of missing data only 24 cases were available for analysis. Thus, the study is merely half as large as they suggest up front, and their (in my opinion) ill-advised statistical analysis is much less convincing. In any case, they found that the accuracy for determining the number of ingested packets was poor — a conclusion that should be obvious even without the study by looking at come of their CT images of intestines chock-a-block with drug packets. They found that CT was accurate if the person had ingested less than 15 packets, but this conclusion is based — according to my count — on results from ...
Source: The Poison Review - Category: Toxicology Authors: Leon Tags: Medical body packer CT mule radiography Source Type: news
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