• Ertan Mert
  • Nursel Gamsız Bilgin
  • Kubilay Erdoğan
  • Tuğsan Egemen Bilgin

Eurasian J Emerg Med 2006;5(2):14-19


In this study, we analyzed data from emergency department patients with acute poisoings, and calculated the societal costs in order to determine the potential benefit of prevention methods.


Patient data from patients with acute poisoning presenting to our teritary-care university's emergency department from January 2002 to June 2003 were retrospectively studied.


Of 121 acute poisoning cases, 53% were female and 33% 17-25 years old. Most (66%) patients presented primarily to us, without going to another facility first. While 93% of poisonings in the 0-6 year age group were accidental, 92% in the 13-16 age group were suicide attempts. Drugs were the major cause (64.5%) of acute poisonings, and psychotropic agents were the most common class of drug used (32%). Only 20% were managed in the ED without hospitalization. Total treatment cost was much higher in the hospitalizated patients (32532 US$) than outpatients (1316 US$).


In conclusion, acute poisonings especially affected young females, and most of them were due to attempted suicide whereas acute poisonings in children less than 6 year of age had often accidental origin. The most common cause of acute poisonings was the drugs, and psychotropic agents were the major cause. Most of the patients were admitted to the hospital for close observation and the hospitalization costs of this group were high.

Keywords: Poisonings, emergency department, suicide, forensic case