The Experiences in a Toxicology Unit: A Review of 623 Cases

Ramazan Koylu, Zerrin Defne Dundar, Oznur Koylu, Emine Akinci, Nazire Belgin Akilli, Mustafa Onder Gonen, Basar Cander


Background: To evaluate the etiological and demographic characteristics of adult poisoning patients followed up in a toxicology unit in Konya, Turkey.

Methods: Patients (>= 15 years old) followed up with the diagnosis of poisoning in our toxicology unit in 2011 were included in this retrospective study. The patients medical records were investigated. Age, gender, medical history, the first medical center the patient had been admitted to, the routes and causes of poisoning, the toxins involved, the number of the pills taken, treatments, complications, the length of stay in the hospital and the outcome were recorded.

Results: A total of 623 patients were included in the study. The mean age of patients was 28.1 15.1. Four hundred and forty-five (71.4%) of patients were female, 541 (86.9%) of them were poisoned via the oral route and 75 (12.0%) of them were poisoned by inhalation. The causes of poisoning were drugs in 408 (65.5%) patients, pesticides/insecticides in 58 (9.3%) patients and carbon monoxide in 49 (7.9%) patients. The commonly used drugs were as follows: analgesics (57.2%), antidepressants (25.4%) and gastrointestinal system drugs (15.8%). The poisonings were suicidal in 489 (78.5%) patients, accidental in 120 (19.3%) patients and overdose in 14 (2.2%) patients. The number of women was higher in the suicide group. At the end of the treatment, 604 (97.0%) of the patients were discharged and 3 (0.4%) of them died. The duration of follow-up was 39.2 37.5 h.

Conclusion: The most common causes of poisoning are drugs, pesticides/insecticides and carbon monoxide. Health and educational policies at a national level are needed in order to prevent this medicosocial problem. Furthermore, specially equipped toxicology units should be constructed for the treatment and follow-up of the poisoned patients in order to reduce the morbidity and mortality to a significant extent.

J Clin Med Res. 2014;6(1):59-65


Toxicology; Poisoning; Epidemiology; Suicide

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