Published: 2019-11-25

Clinical patterns and outcome of acute poisoning at a tertiary care hospital in coastal Karnataka, India

Akshatha Rao Aroor, Rama Prakasha Bhat Saya, Sucharitha Suresh


Background: Periodic epidemiological studies are necessary to analyse the patterns of poisoning in each region. The aim of this study was to characterise the acute poisoning cases admitted to a tertiary care centre in coastal Karnataka.

Methods: All the adult patients admitted to the emergency department of the hospital during the past five years were included. Data was obtained from the hospital medical records and included socio-demographic characteristics, causative agents, mode of poisoning, route of poisoning, time of arrival to the hospital and factors determining mortality.

Results: Of the 169 patients admitted with acute poisoning, majority belonged to young age group (46.7%) and were females (50.9%). Poisoning was more common among the, married population (59.2%) and literates (62.7%). Clustering of cases were found during summer (36.7%) and monsoon (35.5%). Ingestion was the commonest route (98.2%) and the intention was suicidal (82.2%) in majority of the patients. Drug overdose (49.1%) was the commonest agent followed by pesticides (14.8%) and rodenticides (12.4%). Acetaminophen and antipsychotic drugs were the commonly used drugs. Psychiatric illness was found in a significant number of patients (37.9%). The most common symptom was nausea and vomiting (40.2%). Mortality was seen in 7.7% of the patients. Factors contributing to mortality were male gender, intake of pesticides, renal failure and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

Conclusions: There is an increase in the number of cases abusing drugs and medications. There is an urgent need to address the susceptive young population and patients with underlying psychiatric illness to reduce the number of poisoning cases in this region.


Acute poisoning, Drugs, Pesticides

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