J Korean Geriatr Soc.  2009 Mar;13(1):24-30. 10.4235/jkgs.2009.13.1.24.

Clinical Analysis of Acute Poisoning in Elderly Patients

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. drme@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Incidents of suicide attempts and acute poisonings in the elderly population is rising. This study com- pared elderly and younger patients to investigate the influence of age on the clinical nature of acute poisoning.
METHODS
We retrospectively investigated 147 patients with acute poisoning who visited the emergency department within 6 hours of exposure. Patients were divided into two groups, young adult(20-40 yrs) and elderly(> or =55 yrs). Information on type of toxic material, age, sex, duration of time to arrive to the emergency department(ED) after poisoning, cause of poisoning, usage of activated charcoal and gastric lavage, previous suicide attempts, and past psy- chiatric history were collected. And, the mean arterial pressure, respiratory rate, base excess, aspartate aminotransfe- rase(AST), serum creatinine, rate of discharge against medical advice, intensive care unit(ICU) admission rate, discharge rate, duration in ICU, usage of mechanical ventilator, and death rate were analyzed. Initial and final Poisoning Severity Scores(PSS) of each patient were calculated.
RESULTS
The mean age of the young adult group and the elderly group were 30.6+/-6.1 yrs and 66.6+/-8.2 yrs, respectively. Cause of poisoning was accidental more often in the elderly group than in the young adult group. AST and creatinine levels were higher and base excess was lower in the elderly group. ICU admission rate, duration in ICU, usage of mechanical ventilator, death rate, and initial and final PSS were all higher in the elderly group as well.
CONCLUSION
This study showed that the PSS and death rate from acute poisoning were higher in the elderly group than in the young adult group.

Keyword

Aged; Poisoning; Severity
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