J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2018 Dec;16(2):75-85. 10.22537/jksct.16.2.75.

Classify the Acute Drug Intoxication Patients with Poisoning Severity Score(PSS) and Calculate the Optimal Cutoff Value of PSS, PSSsum to Predict Poor Prognosis

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea. emhwang1@hanmail.net
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Daegu Fatima Hospital, Daegu, Korea.


This study examined the Poisoning Severity Score (PSS) from acute poisoning patients, to determine the relationships among the PSS, PSSsum, the primary outcome (prolonged stay at the ER over 24 hours, general ward and ICU admission and the application of intubation and mechanical ventilator, and the administration of inotropes).
A retrospective study was conducted through the EMR for 15 months. The PSS grade was classified according to the evidence of symptoms and signs. The differences in the primary outcomes between the PSS of when a single organ was damaged, and the PSS, PSSsum combined with the grade of when multiple organs were damaged, were studied. The cutoff value was calculated using the receiving operating characteristics (ROC) curve.
Of the 284 patients; 85 (29.9%) were men with a mean age of 48.8 years, and their average arrival time to the ER was 4.4±6.7 hours. The most frequently used drug was hypnotics. The number of patients with PSS grade 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 was 17, 129, 122, 24, and one, respectively. No ICU admissions, application of intubation and mechanical ventilators, administration of inotropes were observed among the patients with PSS grades 0 and 1 but only on patients with PSS grades 2 to 4. At PSS, when separating the patients according to the number of damaged organs, 17 had no symptoms, 133 had one organ damaged, 75 had two organs damaged, 36 had three organs damaged, and 23 had four organs damaged. Significant differences were observed between increasing number of damaged organs and the primary outcome.
Among the acute poisoning patients, the PSS was higher in severity when the grade was higher. The number of damaged organs and the primary outcome showed meaningful statistical differences. This study confirmed that when the patients' PSS>2 and PSSsum>5, the frequency of ICU admission was higher, and they were considered to be severe with an increased prescription risk of application of intubation and mechanical ventilator, and the administration of inotropes.


Poisoning; Poisoning Severity Score (PSS); Prediction
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