Incidence and Patterns of Acute Poisoning Cases in an Emergency Department of A Tertiary Care Hospital in Chennai
B. Bamathy1, K. Punnagai2, C. A. Amritha3 and D. Darling Chellathai4

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Sundaram Medical foundation, Chennai, India.

2Department of Pharmacology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, India.

3Department of Pharmacology, Tagore Medical College, Chennai, India.

4Department of Pharmacology, SRMC and RI, Chennai, India.

Corresponding Author E-mail:

Abstract: Acute poisoning is a medical emergency. It is important to know the incidence, patterns and outcome of acute poisoning cases in order to take up appropriate planning in prevention, safety measures and management. This study aimed to assess the incidence and patterns of poisoning and drugs used in the management of poisoning in a tertiary care hospital located in Chennai catering to urban & semi urban population. This was a retrospective observational study. Data was collected from the medical records of the emergency department of the hospital. The study included 218 cases and data regarding age, sex, Mental health history, Name/type of poisoning agent, Drugs administered, Duration of hospital stay, Outcome of the treatment  were collected in a prestructured proforma. Among the total 218 patients, males were 113 (51%) and females were 105 (49%). Patients consumed Organophosphorous poisoning were 64 (29%), Tablet overdose were 74 (34%) and rest like mosquito repellant, rat killer poison, kerosene, acid etc., were 80 (37%). Intention of these poisoning episodes was suicidal in 198 (91%) patients and accidental in 20 (9%) patients. Among 0-18 yrs age group of patients those who reported Organophosphorous compound poisoning was 1, tablet overdose was 2 and the rest (mosquito repellent, kerosene, rat killer) were 6 especially in children. In the age group of 19-30, the patients with OPC were 31, tablet overdose was 33 and remaining (mosquito repellent, rat poison and acid) were 32 patients. After intervention and management 203 (93%) patients recovered and 15 (7%) patients died. The common drugs used apart from first aid measures were Atropine, Oximes, Vitamin K, and Flumazenil. Other adjuvant drugs used are Ondansetron, Pantoprazole, Antibiotics, Antiepileptics and Antacids. The female patients tend to consume tablets and mosquito repellent poison more than the OPC poisoning.  From this study, we analyzed the incidence and patterns of acute poisoning in patients reporting to emergency medicine department. The incidence of Tablet poisoning is highest followed by Organophosphorous compound poisoning in our study. In our study we found the incidence of mosquito repellent poison consumption has increased considerably. The drugs most commonly used were Flumazenil and Atropine. The easy availability of the pesticides and the over the counter prescription drugs might be one of the major reasons for the increased incidence of poisoning among urban and semi rural general population especially among younger adults.

Keywords: Incidence and Patterns; acute poisoning; tablet overdose; Organophosphorous compounds

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