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A Retrospective Study of Acute Poisoning Cases and Their Management at Emergency Department of Dessie Referral Hospital, Northeast Ethiopia

Authors Getie A, Belayneh YM

Received 7 December 2019

Accepted for publication 25 February 2020

Published 5 March 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 41—48


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rajender Aparasu

Abebe Getie, Yaschilal Muche Belayneh

Department of Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Yaschilal Muche Belayneh
Department of Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, P.O. Box 1145, Dessie, Ethiopia
Tel +251918092466

Background: Poisoning causes significant patient morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is a common reason for emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Acute poisoning needs immediate effective management to prevent patient mortality or sequela. This study was carried out to determine the pattern of acute poisoning cases and their management at the emergency department of Dessie referral hospital, northeast Ethiopia.
Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study of all registered poisoning cases managed at the emergency department of Dessie referral hospital was conducted from March 10 to May 2, 2018.
Results: There were a total of 147 registered poisoning cases listed in the registry during the study period, of which 120 cases (81.6%) had complete data and were included in the study. Among the total of 120 studied poisoning cases, 66 (55%) were females, and 53 (44.2%) were  in the age group of 21– 30 years. The causative poison was documented for 118 cases. Organophosphates were the most common poisoning agents involved in 54 (45%) of the cases followed by sodium hypochlorite, 27 (22.5%), and food poisoning, 19 (15.8%). Among the total patients, 77 (64.2%) were self-poisoned intentionally, 31 (25.8%) were poisoned in an unintentional manner and the rest, 12 (10%), had an unknown manner of poisoning. Mental disorder, 25 (20.8%); family disharmony, 23 (19.2%); and marital disharmony, 19 (15.8%) were the three most common causes of intentional poisoning. In all cases of acute poisoning, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment approaches were used. Cimetidine was the most commonly used pharmacologic treatment, 118 (98.3%), followed by antiemetic, 107 (89.2%); proton pump inhibitor, 87 (72.5%), and atropine, 67 (55.8%). ANOVA did not show a statistically significant difference (P> 0.05) in the frequency of poisoning cases across seasons.
Conclusion: Among 120 acute poisoning cases, 77 (64.2%) were intentional poisoning cases. Organophosphate poisoning accounts for 45% of the total poisoning cases. The three major reasons for intentional poisoning were mental disorders (20.8%), family disharmony (19.2%) and marital disharmony (15.8%). Cimetidine (98.3%) was the most commonly used pharmacologic treatment of the poisoning cases.

Keywords: acute poisoning, emergency department, organophosphate poisoning

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