Objectives: Intoxications constitute significant public health concerns. In developing countries, the incidence of intentional and unintentional acute intoxications varies from 0.2 to 9.3/1000. This study aimed to investigate the clinical and demographical properties of the cases with drug poisonings admitted to the emergency department (ED) and to determine the factors affecting the final patient outcomes and duration of stay in the ED. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted. Data for 1243 patients over 18 years of age, who applied during 2008-2012 to the Department of Emergency Medicine, Ege University Faculty of Medicine due to poisoning with medications or chemicals, were analyzed. Results: The overall ED visit rate for drug poisoning was 3.9 per 1000 persons. The mean (±SD) age of the subjects was 29.4±10.5 years. Of the patients, 875 (70.4%) were females with a female to male ratio of 2.4/1; 91.2% (n=1134) were intentional poisoning cases. Factors affecting the duration of stay in the ED were male sex (χ2=10.7; p=0.014), being older than 45 years (χ2=26.1; p<0.001), being married (χ2=14.6; p=0.002), intentionally taking drugs (χ2=12.0; p=0.007), more than 1 hour time lapse reaching the hospital (χ2=26.1; p<0.001), and having a chronic disease (χ2=37.11; p<0.001). Conclusion: There are significant demographic differences among applicants to the emergency department concerning the duration of stay in the ED as well as the outcome. Acute intoxications most commonly affect young women who took easily accessible medications in a suicide attempt with a mostly non-lethal outcome.
Corresponding Author: Esen Došan