Volume 7 Supplement 2

23rd International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Open Access

Admission to an adult intensive care unit for poisoning: a review of 230 cases

  • K Mehmet1,
  • S Murat1,
  • D Nazim1 and
  • K Husnu1
Critical Care20037(Suppl 2):P243

https://doi.org/10.1186/cc2132

Published: 3 March 2003

Background

Poisoning remains a serious public health problem despite regulatory interventions and medical advances.

Objective

To evaluate epidemiological features of poisoning in our adult ICU (AICU).

Patients and methods

We reviewed all patients treated for poisonings in the AICU of University Hospital in Ezurum, Turkey, between May 1997 and October 2002. A retrospective study was conducted.

Results

Reasons for admission to the AICU were the need for ventilator treatment or invasive monitoring of vital functions. Two hundred and thirty patients (126 men [57%], 104 women [43%], mean age 34 years) were treated for poisoning in the AICU. Specific poisons have been presented in Table 1.

Table 1

Causes of poisoning

Number

Recovered

Died

Agent death rate (%)

Total death rate (%)

Drugs

123

114

9

7.3

4

Organophosphate

46

44

2

4.4

0.87

Carbon monoxide

30

28

2

6.66

0.87

Methyl alcohol

14

8

6

42.8

2.6

Botulism

8

6

2

25

0.87

Mushrooms

6

5

1

16.6

0.34

Sulphur

2

2

-

-

-

Lithium

1

1

-

-

-

Total

230

208

22

-

9.55

Seventy-three per cent of the patients (n = 168) had attempted suicide, most of them using drugs (n = 123). Eleven patients (6.5%) died. Twenty-seven per cent of the patients (n = 62) were admitted because of accidental poisoning, most of them expected to be CO intoxications (n = 30). Eleven patients (17.7%) died. The most common cause of death was methyl alcohol poisoning (death rate 42.8%).

Conclusions

In adults, self-poisoning is usually deliberate (suicide or parasuicide) [1]. Although advanced life support and antidotal treatments were available, mortality was high. Concrete preventive measures are mandatory to prevent loss of life and health care resources.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Anaesthesiology and Reanimation, Ataturk University Hospital

References

  1. Ellenhorn MJ: Ellenhorn's Medical Toxicology second Edition Williams & Wilkins 1997, 5-6.Google Scholar

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd 2003

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