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Storage of euthanasia solution as a factor in addressing veterinarian suicides

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  • 1 1Respiratory Health Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC, Morgantown, WV 26505.
  • | 2 2Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 3 3Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC, Atlanta, GA 30341.

In a recent study of suicides and deaths of uncertain intent among US veterinary professionals, Witte et al 1 found that for 34 of 73 (47%) veterinarians, the mechanism of death was classified as poisoning, with 18 of those 34 deaths (or 25% of the total) attributed to pentobarbital, the active ingredient in euthanasia solutions. Even more troubling, for 13 of the 18 deaths attributed to pentobarbital poisoning, the death-related injury occurred at home. Although data were not available on where or how the pentobarbital was procured, it seems likely that in some, if not all, of these cases,

In a recent study of suicides and deaths of uncertain intent among US veterinary professionals, Witte et al 1 found that for 34 of 73 (47%) veterinarians, the mechanism of death was classified as poisoning, with 18 of those 34 deaths (or 25% of the total) attributed to pentobarbital, the active ingredient in euthanasia solutions. Even more troubling, for 13 of the 18 deaths attributed to pentobarbital poisoning, the death-related injury occurred at home. Although data were not available on where or how the pentobarbital was procured, it seems likely that in some, if not all, of these cases,

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Nett (gge5@cdc.gov).