J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2012 Jun;10(1):22-32.

Multicenter Survey of Intoxication Cases in Korean Emergency Departments: 2nd Annual Report, 2009

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Korea.
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Korea. turtle072@hanmail.net
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Korea.
  • 4Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 5Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Korea.
  • 6Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Inje University, Korea.
  • 7Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Korea.
  • 8Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Korea.
  • 9Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Dankook University, Korea.
  • 10Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Hallym University, Korea.
  • 11Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Korea.
  • 12Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Chonnam National University, Korea.
  • 13Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical School of Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
The purpose
of this study was to examine the occurrence of toxic exposure cases in Korean emergency centers using a toxic exposure surveillance system-based report form and to provide guidelines for the prevention and treatment of toxic exposures.
METHODS
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of toxic exposure patients who had visited emergency centers from January 2009 to December 2009. Epidemiology data points for the toxic exposure cases included age, gender, type of exposure, number and kind of substances involved, reason and route of poison exposure, management of the patients in the emergency departments, and the clinical outcome.
RESULTS
A total of 3,501 patients from 12 emergency departments were enrolled in the study. 50.0% of the total exposure patients were male and 63.0% of the total cases were fatal. Acute intoxication occurred in 91.3% of the total patients and suicidal intent was the most common (43.3%) reason for exposure. The most common route of exposure was ingestion (75.9%). Of the total cases, pesticides were involved in 26.3%, sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics were involved in 22.0%, and bites and envenomations were involved in 15.7%.
CONCLUSION
We provided a database of patients who were admitted to emergency departments after poisoning incidents. We recommend that toxicology professionals develop a classification scheme for toxicants which is adequate for Korean domestic circumstances and initiate a toxic surveillance system for all types of exposures. With support of a psychiatric surveillance system for suicidal patients and establishment of social mediation for pesticide poisoning, major reductions in poison exposures can be achieved.

Keyword

Database; Epidemiology; Poisoning
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