J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2017 Dec;15(2):131-139. 10.22537/jksct.2017.15.2.131.

Epidemiologic Characteristics of Intentional Poisoning: Emergency Department Based Injury in-depth Surveillance During 2011–2015

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. boringzzz@yuhs.ac
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
  • 5Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 6Department of Emergency Medicine, Ewha Womans University, School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
The purpose of this study was to investigate the epidemiologic characteristics of patients who visited emergency departments (EDs) after intentional poisoning in Korea.
METHODS
This study retrospectively analyzed the data of of 23 hospitals during a five-year period, between 2011 and 2015. We included patients who inflicted injury to themselves - attempt of suicide - by means of poisoning.
RESULTS
A total of 18,121 patients visited an ED after intentional poisoning. Among them, 58.3% were females; however, there were more males among those aged 60 years or older. The mortality rate for males was 8.6%, which was 3.1 times higher than that for females with 2.8%. The most common poison was pesticides (35.4%) in males and sedative-hypnotics (44.0%) in females. The most common causative agent of death was pesticide in both sexes (75.2% and 65.3%, respectively). Since the production of paraquat was discontinued in 2011, the number of deaths from pesticide poisoning has decreased. The mortality rate declined in both males and females, from 12.6% and 4.5% in 2011 to 7.1% and 2.1% in 2015, respectively.
CONCLUSION
In this study, we analyzed the epidemiologic characteristics of intentional poisoning, especially the frequency of suicide attempts by gender and age group, the cause of suicide, and the causative agent. This can be used as basic data for establishing policies to reduce and prevent suicide attempts by poisoning.

Keyword

Epidemiology; Poisoning; Suicide

MeSH Terms

Emergencies*
Emergency Service, Hospital*
Epidemiology
Female
Humans
Korea
Male
Mortality
Paraquat
Pesticides
Poisoning*
Retrospective Studies
Suicide
Paraquat
Pesticides
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