J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2010 Jun;8(1):7-15.

Epidemiologic Study of Poisoned Patients Who Presented to the Emergency Department of a High end Medical Facility in Seoul 1998~2009

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


There are an insignificant number of studies done on the demographics of intoxication patients and on the characteristics of toxic exposure on a long term basis in Korea. The objective of our survey is to investigate the epidemiologic characteristics of intoxication in a metropolitan emergency department in order to more efficiently manage intoxication patients.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of intoxication patients who visited the emergency department of a high end medical facility between January, 1998 and June, 2009. We investigated the trend of the substances people became intoxicated with during the study period and we analyzed the age, gender, year and distribution of patients and the outcome of the patients.
There were 1544 cases of intoxication during the study period, and the cases made up 0.37% of the total visitors to our emergency department, which is a high end medical facility located in the city. Most of the patients were female (70%) in their twenties and thirties. The most commonly ingested intoxication substances were sedatives, analgesics and pesticides. Unlike in the province, antidepressant abuse is on the rise while pesticide abuse is falling. The overall admission rate was 24.8% and the mortality rate was 1.6%. Pesticides intoxication was the most common cause of death (76%). Pesticides intoxication, a male gender and old age were the most significant fatality-related factors.
We think that there is a need to investigate the actual conditions of drug intoxication in the city and prepare measures to prevent drug intoxication.


Poisoning; Epidemiology; Suicide
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