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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology


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Kap Su Han 5 Articles
Patterns of self-harm/suicide attempters who visited emergency department over the past 10 years and changes in poisoning as a major method (2011–2020)
Kyu Hyun Pai, Sung Woo Lee, Su Jin Kim, Kap Su Han, Juhyun Song, Sijin Lee, Ji Hwan Park, Jeijoon Song
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(2):69-80.   Published online December 29, 2023
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Purpose: Suicide ranks among the top causes of death among youth in South Korea. This study aimed to identify the characteristics of suicidal individuals treated at emergency departments between 2011 and 2020.
A retrospective analysis was conducted using data from January 2011 to December 2020 in the Injury Surveillance Cohort, a prospective registry. Patients’ sex, age, mortality, methods of self-harm, and previous suicide attempts were analyzed. The methods of self-harm were categorized into falls, asphyxiation, blunt injuries, penetrating injuries, poisoning, and others. Sub-groups with and without poisoning were compared.
The proportion of self-harm/suicide attempts increased from 2.3% (2011) to 5.0% (2020). The mortality rate decreased from 10.8% (2011) to 6.3% (2020). Poisoning was the most common method (61.7%). Mortality rates ranged from 42.0% for asphyxiation to 0.2% for blunt injuries. Individuals in their 20s showed a marked increase in suicide/self-harm attempts, especially in the last three years. A large proportion of decedents in their 70s or older (52.6%) used poisoning as a method of suicide. The percentage of individuals with two or more previous attempts rose from 7.1% (2011) to 19.7% (2020). The death rates by poisoning decreased from 7.7% (2011) to 2.5% (2020).
Our findings underscore the urgent need for targeted interventions and suicide prevention policies. Managing and reducing suicide and self-harm in emergency settings will require a focus on poisoning, the 10–29 age group, and the elderly. This paper will be valuable for future policies aiming to reduce the societal burden of suicide and self-harm.
Continuous Control of Acetaminophen Poisoning after Implementation of Regulation for Ease Access of Acetaminophen: Cohort Study from Emergency Department Based in-depth Injury Surveillance
Seung Jik Jo, Hyun Young Gang, Si Jin Lee, Gyu Hyun Bae, Eui Jung Lee, Kap Su Han, Su Jin Kim, Sung Woo Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2020;18(2):57-65.   Published online December 31, 2020
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: Since 2012, acetaminophen can be accessed easily not only at pharmacies but also at convenience stores. The relationship between the easy access of acetaminophen and the risk of poisoning has been controversial. Several studies also reported different results regarding the risk of acetaminophen poisoning after access to acetaminophen was relaxed. This study examined the long-term effects on the risk of acetaminophen poisoning after easy access to acetaminophen was implemented. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of an emergency department (ED)-based in-depth Injury Surveillance Cohort by the Korea Center for Disease Control and prevention from 2011 to 2018. Poisoning cases were selected from the Cohort, and the incidence of acetaminophen poisoning and the characteristics of the cases of acetaminophen poisoning were analyzed. The purchase path and the amount of ingestion in acetaminophen poisoning were sub-analyzed from data of six EDs. Results: Of 57,326 poisoning cases, 4.0% (2,272 cases) were acetaminophen poisoning. Of 2,272 cases of acetaminophen poisoning, 42.8% (974 cases) required in-patient care after ED management. Two hundred and sixty-four of these 964 cases required intensive care. The rates of cases that required in-patient treatment and the rates of cases that required intensive care increased from 29.4% in 2011 to 48.1% in 2018, and from 3.1% in 2011 to 15.2% in 2018, respectively (p<0.001, p<0.001). In the poisoning group with in-depth toxic surveillance (n=15,908), the incidence and proportion of acetaminophen (AAP) poisoning increased from 55 cases per year to 187 cases per year and 4.9% to 6.1%, respectively (p=0.009, p<0.001, respectively). The most common age group of acetaminophen poisoning was teenagers, which is different from the most common age group of other pharmaceutical agents: the middle age group of 40-49 years (p<0.001). Of 15,908 in-depth toxic surveillance patients, 693 patients had AAP poisoning, of whom 377 cases (54.2%) purchased acetaminophen from a non-pharmacy. The proportions of the purchase path from non-pharmacy were 41.4% at 2011-12 and 56.4% (2013-18) (p=0.004). The amount of acetaminophen ingestion was 13.5±14.3 g at 2011-12 and 13.9±15.1 g at 2013-18 (p=0.794). Conclusion: Although the incidence of acetaminophen poisoning did not increase remarkably in the short term after the implementation of the new regulation, the incidence of acetaminophen poisoning has increased slightly during the study period of 2017-18. In addition, the proportion of the purchase path from non-pharmacies has increased since the emergence of new regulations for the easy access of acetaminophen in 2012. The incidence of acetaminophen poisoning might have been affected after the increasing accessibility of acetaminophen in convenience stores. Continuous control of acetaminophen poisoning is required. Furthermore, the prevention of acetaminophen poisoning should be focused on teenagers with specialized school education programs.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Analysis of 2011-2020 intentional drug poisoning in children and adolescents
    Jin Seok Park, Jin Seong Cho, Jae-Hyug Woo, Jae Ho Jang, Woo Sung Choi, Yong Su Lim, Jea Yeon Choi
    Pediatric Emergency Medicine Journal.2023; 10(4): 132.     CrossRef
Self-poisoning as a Target Group for Prevention of Suicide
Moon Hwan Kwak, Hyun Young Kang, Si Jin Lee, Kap Su Han, Su Jin Kim, Eu Jung Lee, Sung Woo Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2018;16(2):93-101.   Published online December 31, 2018
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Purpose: The Korean government has tried to decrease the suicide death rate over the last decade. Suicide attempts, particularly non-fatal attempts, are the most powerful known risk factor for a completed suicide. An analysis of suicide attempt methods will help establish the effective preventive action of suicide. Fit prevention according to the method of suicide attempt may decrease the incidence of suicide death. Self-poisoning is suggested as a major method of both suicide attempts and suicide death. The aim of this study was to determine if a self-poisoning patient is a suitable target for the prevention of the suicide. Methods: This was retrospective analysis of a prospective cohort, which included patients who presented to the emergency department (ED) after a self-harm or suicide attempt from Jan 2013 to Dec 2017. The proportion of methods in suicide attempts, psychological consultation, and fatality according to the suicide attempt method were analyzed. The types of poison were also analyzed. Results: Poisoning was the most common method of suicide attempts (52.1%). The rate of psychological consultations were 18.8% for all patients and 29.1% for poison patients (p<0.001). The rate of mortality in poisoning was 0.6%. Psychological consultation was performed more frequently in admission cases than discharged cases. The most common materials of poisons was psychological medicines and sedatives that had been prescribed at clinics or hospital. Conclusion: Self-poisoning is a major method of suicide attempt with a high rate of psychiatric consultation, low mortality rate, versus others methods. The prevention of suicide death for suicide attempts may focus on self-poisoning, which is the major method of suicide attempts. A suitable aftercare program for self-poisoning may be an effective method for preventing suicide if an early diagnosis and management of psychiatric disorders through psychiatric consultation can be made, and early connection to social prevention program for non-fatal patients are possible.
Changes in Toxicological Characteristics after Sales of Nonprescription Drugs in Convenience Stores
Chang Yeong Kim, Eui Jung Lee, Sung Woo Lee, Su Jin Kim, Kap Su Han
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2018;16(1):42-48.   Published online June 30, 2018
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Purpose: On November 15, 2012, sales of OTC (Over-The-Counter) drugs began at convenience stores, which changed the accessibility of some drugs. As a result, the exposure and access patterns of these drugs could have changed. In this study, we reviewed the changes in the characteristics of drug poisoning patients because of the reposition of nonprescription drugs according to the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted to evaluate changes in characteristics of drug poisoning patients between 2008 and 2016. A registry was developed by an emergency medical center in a local tertiary teaching hospital, and patients who visited the center were enrolled in this registry. We compared two periods, from 2008 to 2012 (Pre OTC) and from 2013 to 2016 (Post OTC), for type of intoxicant, time from poisoning to visiting the emergency center, intention, psychiatric history, previous suicidal attempt, alcohol status, and emergency room outcomes. The primary outcome was the number of patients who took acetaminophen and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Secondary outcomes were ICU admission rate, mortality rate, and number of patients who visited the ER when the pharmacy was closed after taking acetaminophen and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Results: Among 1,564 patients, 945 and 619 patients visited the emergency room during pre and post OTC periods. The number of patients with acetaminophen and NSAIDs poisoning decreased from 9.2% to 6.1% (p=0.016). The ICU admission rate and mortality rate in the emergency room did not show significant results in the relevant patient groups, and so was the number of patients visiting ER when the pharmacy was closed taking acetaminophen and NSAIDs. Conclusion: Despite the sales of nonprescription drugs at convenience stores, the number of acetaminophen and NSAIDs poisoning patients decreased.
Changes of Poison Data Characteristics Collected from Telephone Response in 1339 and 119: Discrepancy in Characteristics of Post-toxin Exposure Data Obtained through Telephone Counselling Provided by 1339 and 119
Kwang Hoon Park, Jong Su Park, Sung-Woo Lee, Su-Jin Kim, Kap Su Han, Eui Jung Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(2):116-121.   Published online December 31, 2017
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the toxicologic profiles and outcome of poisoned patients by comparing the data obtained through telephone counselling, each provided by emergency medical information center (1339) and emergency dispatch center (119). Methods: We analyzed the telephone-based poison exposure data before and after Seoul 1339 merged to 119. We compared the Seoul 1339 call response data in 2008 with Seoul and Busan 119 call response data between 2014 and 2016. We analyzed the changes in the trend and quality of data obtained, as well as the quality of service provided by each center before and after this reallocation, by comparing the data each obtained through telephone counselling. Results: The data was collected for a total of 2260 toxin exposure related calls made to Seoul 1339 in 2009, and 1657 calls to 119 in Seoul and Busan between 2014 and 2016. Significant difference was observed for age, sex, and reason for exposure to toxic substance between the two groups. Conclusion: After the integration of 1339 with 119, 119 focused on role of field dispatch and hospital transfer, lacking the consulting on drug poisoning. Moreover, data on exposure to toxic substances at the pre-hospital stage indicate that drug information and counseling are missing or unknown. In addition, first aid or follow-up instructions are not provided. Thus, systematic approach and management are required.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology