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Pesticide poisoning in the region of Rodopi, Greece


Pesticide poisoning constitutes a problem that often occurs in the daily medical practice and mainly concerns the rural areas of Greece. The purpose of this project is to mention the epidemic characteristics and our observations on unintentional pesticide and herbicide poisonings in the prefecture of Rodopi, Greece.


In our retrospective study that refers to a period of 2 years (January 2006 to December 2007), 152 patients suffering from pesticide poisoning were offered medical treatment in the pathologic ward of the General Hospital of Komotini. One hundred and nineteen (78.30%) of them were patients who unintentionally suffered pesticide poisoning. The remaining 20 (13.15%) were poisoned with pharmaceutical substances of domestic use. There were also 13 (8.55%) cases of attempted suicide with intentional intake of an overdose of antidepressants that were exempt from our study.


Fourteen out of the 119 patients (11.76%) were transferred to hospital in a state of a coma (Glasgow coma scale <8) and were treated in the ICU and underwent blood refinery. There were two deaths (2/119 or 1.68%). The average age of our patients was 37 years (14 to 89). The proportion of men/women was 2.4/1 (84/35) and the poisonings took place at the beginning of the summer.


Unintentional pesticide poisonings are frequent in our area. They concern people of low educational level, mainly men of a reproductive age [1, 2]. The time spent from the intake of the pesticide to their transfer to hospital plays an important role in the successful treatment of such cases [3]. Moreover, for a positive outcome in these severe cases it is essential that these patients are treated in ICUs [3, 4].


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Vavatsiklis, N., Grigoriadis, G., Diakalis, C. et al. Pesticide poisoning in the region of Rodopi, Greece. Crit Care 13 (Suppl 1), P491 (2009).

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  • Rural Area
  • Positive Outcome
  • Medical Treatment
  • Educational Level
  • Emergency Medicine