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An observational study on acute poisoning in a tertiary care hospital in West Bengal, India

1 Department of Pharmacology, IPGMER, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of General Medicine, IPGMER; Department of Medicine, RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Suparna Chatterjee,
Department of Pharmacology, IPGMER, 244B AJC Bose Road, Kolkata - 700 020, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/picr.PICR_181_18

Aim: Poisoning is a preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in India. We undertook a prospective observational study to estimate the incidence, nature, severity and treatment outcome trends of acute poisoning in a tertiary care hospital in eastern India. Methods: All patients, admitted during the study period with acute poisoning, drug overdose and envenomation, were enrolled. Food poisonings, animal bites, chronic drug or chemical poisonings were excluded. Medical records were scrutinized and caregiver interviews served as source documents. Demographics, nature and circumstances of the poisoning event, treatment offered, duration of hospitalization and outcome data were collected. Results: Over 18 months, 592 cases of acute poisoning, accounting for 0.63% of all hospital admissions, were enrolled. Males comprised 57.09%, median age was 22 years, and 52.20% hailed from rural area. Occupation-wise, excluding students and children, patients were mostly daily wage workers followed by housewives, service holders and farm workers. Snake bites comprised the largest category of cases at 264 (44.6%) followed by corrosives (13.68%), sedatives/hypnotics (13.18%), pesticides (12.16%), hydrocarbon oils (8.61%) and others. Majority (60.64%) of the cases was accidental and occurred at home (66.72%) and most (87.33%) were referred from primary health centers. Median time between event and arrival at primary care center was 1 hour while median time to arrival at the hospital was 11 hours. There were 89 deaths (mortality 15.03%) in the series. Male gender, rural residence, referred status and non-use of specific antidotes had negative impact on survival. Conclusion: This large prospective study from eastern India from a hospital perspective, has captured data not only on the incidence and nature of poisoning but also on treatment trends and mortality outcomes. Field studies conducted in the light of these results will clarify additional issues.

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    -  Chatterjee S
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