J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2012 Oct;23(5):679-686.

Clinical Analysis of Acute Drug Poisoning Victims by Intentional Poisoning

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. emkwlee@dsmc.or.kr
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Keimyung University, School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
Korea has one of the highest suicide rates of countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In development of emergency medical services (EMS) and emergency medicine in Korea, one of the characteristics of suicide in Korea is the means of committing suicide, which is intentional acute drug poisoning. The aim of this study is to compare the characteristics of acute drug poisoning victims between intentional poisoning and accidental poisoning.
METHODS
A retrospective study was conducted for the year 2011. The study group included adults (over 16 years old) with acute drug poisoning. We followed the American Association of Poisoning Control Center definition of acute poisoning. Exclusion criteria were 1) a victim of adverse effect of therapeutic dose, 2) a victim of chronic exposure, 3) missing data on emergency medical records, and 4) unknown cause of poisoning. During the study period, 195 patients were enrolled.
RESULTS
In comparison between the intentional poisoning group and the unintentional poisoning group, no statistical difference was observed in mean age, sex ratio, initial vital signs in the emergency department (ED), and time from exposure to ED. However, the initial mental state in the ED, transportation, previous suicide history, ED treatment, length of stay in the ED, and Poisoning Severity Score (PSS) showed statistical difference (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION
We concluded that intentional drug poisoning is associated with more serious progress and outcome than unintentional poisoning in a group of Korean adults. Prevention and public education will be needed in order to decrease the rate of suicide poisoning in Korea.

Keyword

Acute; Poisoning; Intentional poisoning
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