J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2016 Dec;14(2):122-128. 10.22537/jksct.14.2.122.

Epidemiologic Characteristics of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Emergency Department Based Injury In-depth Surveillance of Twenty Hospitals

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang-si, Korea. woowoochan@gmail.com
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.


This study was conducted to describe the characteristics of patients with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
We retrospectively surveyed data from the Emergency Department based Injury In-depth Surveillance of 20 hospitals (2011-2014). We included patients whose mechanism of injury was acute CO poisoning caused by inhalation of gases from charcoal or briquettes. We surveyed the annual frequency, gender, age, result of emergency treatment, rate of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, result of admission, association with alcohol, and place of accident. We also surveyed the cause and experience of past suicide attempts by intentional poisoning.
A total of 3,405 patients were included (2,015 (59.2%) and 1,390 (40.8%) males and females, respectively) with a mean age of 39.83±18.51 year old. The results revealed that the annual frequency of CO poisoning had increased and the frequency of unintentional CO poisoning was higher than that of intentional CO poisoning in January, February and December. The mean age of intentional CO poisoning was younger than that of unintentional CO poisoning (38.41±13.03 vs 40.95±21.83) (p<0.001). The rates of discharge against medical advice (DAMA), ICU care and alcohol association for intentional CO poisoning were higher than for unintentional CO poisoning (36.4% vs 14.0%, 17.8% vs 4.7%, 45.2% vs 5.6%) (p<0.001). The most common place of CO poisoning was in one's residence.
The annual frequency of total CO poisoning has increased, and unintentional CO poisoning showed seasonal variation. DAMA, ICU care, and alcohol association of intentional CO poisoning were higher than those of unintentional CO poisoning.


Carbon monoxide poisoning; Suicide; Intention
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