J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2011 Dec;9(2):81-87.

Prognostic Factors of Acute Poisoning in Elderly Patients

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea. riven2ne@naver.com


Incidents of suicide attempt and acute poisoning in the elderly population is rising. This study investigated the clinical nature of acute poisoning and differences between the survival and mortality groups in the elderly.
We retrospectively investigated 325 patients with acute poisoning who visited the emergency department. Patients were divided into two groups, one survival and one death group. Information regarding patient sex, age, root cause of poisoning, time of year of poisoning, type of intoxicant, duration of time between intoxicant ingestion and arrival at the emergency department, total length of hospital stay, and any previous suicide attempts and subsequent hospitalization were collected. An initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and an initial and final Poison Severity Score (PSS) for each patient was calculated.
The survival rate for men was higher than for women in this study. The most common reason of drug intoxication was suicide, with accidental ingestion and substance abuse occurring in descending frequency. Seasonal factors were reflected in the data with the highest number of incidents occurring in spring and the lowest number in winter. Compared with the mortality group, the survival group had a lower initial PSS with a higher GCS.
We conclude that being female, having suicide as a root cause, agrochemicals as an intoxicant, low initial Glasgow Coma Scale and high initial Poisoning Severity Score, are all associated with poor prognosis.


Geriatrics; Poisoning; Agrochemicals; Suicide
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