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Comparison of hyperbaric oxygen therapy pressures for acute carbon monoxide poisoning
Jeong Yun Kim, Jihye Lim, Sung Hwa Kim, Sang Il Han, Yong Sung Cha
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(2):117-127.   Published online December 29, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00012
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Purpose: No consensus currently exists regarding the maximal pressure of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy performed within 24 hours of acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. This study aimed to evaluate the difference in therapeutic effects according to the first HBO2 pressure (3.0 atmospheres absolute [ATA] vs. 2.8 ATA).
Methods
We used prospectively collected registry data on CO poisoning at a tertiary academic hospital in the Republic of Korea. Adult patients with acute CO poisoning treated with HBO2 within 24 hours after arrival at the emergency department and without the use of additional HBO2 after 24 hours between January 2007 and February 2022 were included. Data from 595 patients were analyzed using propensity score matching (PSM). Patients with mild (non-intubated) and severe (intubated) poisoning were also compared. Neurocognitive outcomes at 1 month after CO poisoning were evaluated using the Global Deterioration Scale combined with neurological impairment.
Results
After PSM, the neurocognitive outcomes at 1-month post-CO exposure were not significantly different between the 2.8 ATA (110 patients) and 3.0 ATA (55 patients) groups (p=1.000). Similarly, there was also no significant difference in outcomes in a subgroup analysis according to poisoning severity in matched patients (165 patients) (mild [non-intubated]: p=0.053; severe [intubated]: p=1.000).
Conclusion
Neurocognitive sequelae at 1 month were not significantly different between HBO2 therapy pressures of 2.8 ATA and 3.0 ATA in patients with acute CO poisoning. In addition, the 1-month neurocognitive sequelae did not differ significantly between intubated and non-intubated patients.
Changes in the characteristics of acute carbon monoxide poisoning patients who visited the emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic
Jun bo Sim, Tae kyu Ahn, Hyun Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(2):108-116.   Published online December 29, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00008
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Purpose: This study investigated the differences between patients with acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning who visited the emergency department (ED) before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Methods
This was a single-center retrospective observational study. Patients with CO poisoning who visited the ED during the period from February 2020 to January 2023 were classified as the COVID-19 pandemic group, and those from February 2019 to January 2020 were classified as the non-pandemic group. Patients’ medical records were reviewed, their demographic and clinical characteristics were compared, and the length of stay in ED was checked. The time from admission to the ED to the start of hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) was defined as the door-to-HBO time, and this parameter was compared between both groups.
Results
In total, 672 patients were included in this study. The proportion of intentional poisoning was significantly higher in the COVID-19 pandemic group than in the non-pandemic group (p=0.028). The proportion of intentional poisoning significantly increased in the 20- to 29-year-old age group during the COVID-19 pandemic (p<0.001). In addition, it took longer to initiate HBO in the COVID-19 pandemic group than in the non-pandemic group (p=0.001).
Conclusion
These findings suggest that pandemics of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, increase the proportion of intentional CO poisoning, and it may take longer to initiate HBO after visiting the ED. Efforts will be needed to decrease intentional CO poisoning and length of stay in ED.
Changes in deoxyhemoglobin and admission duration in carbon monoxide poisoning patients: a retrospective study
Jae Gu Ji, Yang Weon Kim, Chul Ho Park, Yoo Sang Yoon, Yundeok Jang, JI-Hun Kang, Chang Min Park, Sang Hyeon Park
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(1):32-38.   Published online June 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00004
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether deoxyhemoglobin changes were associated with admission duration in carbon monoxide (CO)-poisoned patients.
Methods
This retrospective study included 181 patients who were able to breathe by themselves after CO poisoning. Arterial blood gas analysis was performed to measure their deoxyhemoglobin levels. Their baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes during hospitalization in the emergency department (ED) were collected and compared. To assess changes in deoxyhemoglobin levels, blood samples were taken immediately after patients presented to the ED and then again after 6 hours. For statistical analysis, logistic regression was utilized to determine the effect of deoxyhemoglobin changes on admission duration.
Results
The incidence rates of hypocapnia and hypoxemia at presentation after acute CO poisoning were 28.7% and 43.6%, respectively. Moreover, the magnitude of increasing deoxyhemoglobin levels in patients with hypoxemia (2.1 [1.7–3.1], p<0.001) and changes in deoxyhemoglobin levels appeared to have an impact on the length of hospitalization in the ED (odds ratio, 1.722; 95% confidence interval, 0.547–0.952; p<0.001).
Conclusion
In patients with acute CO poisoning, deoxyhemoglobin levels appeared to increase in those with hypoxemia, which in turn was associated with prolonged hospitalization.
Effect on blood heavy metal concentration in gas poisoning by combustion of ignition coal: Pilot study
Sang Hwan Lee, Juncheol Lee, Yongil Cho, Byuk Sung Ko, Jaehoon Oh, Hyunggoo Kang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(2):127-132.   Published online December 31, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.2.127
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Purpose: It is known that the most common cause of gas poisoning in Korea is suicide attempts by burning ignition coals. Ignition coals are made from waste wood, and studies have been reported that heavy metals are emitted when this coal is burned. However, there was no study on how much heavy metal poisoning occurs in the human body through this, so this study was planned to find out whether the concentration of heavy metals in the blood increased in patients exposed to ignition coal combustion. Methods: From April 2020 to April 2021, blood lead, mercury, and cadmium concentrations were investigated in carbon monoxide poisoning patients who visited one regional emergency medical center in Seoul, and their association with exposure time, source of poisoning, and rhabdomyolysis were investigated. Results: During the study period, a total of 136 carbon monoxide poisoning patients were tested for heavy metals, and 81 cases of poisoning by ignition coal were reported. When comparing poisoning caused by combustion of ignition coal and other substances, there was no difference in the concentrations of lead, mercury, and cadmium in the blood, and there was no difference in the number of patients above the reference range. However, the patients exposed to more than 5 hours of ignition coal gas exposure are more frequent than those in the group less than 5 hours in lead (51.4% vs. 23.9%, p=0.012). Conclusion: Compared to poisoning with other combustible substances, the blood concentration of lead, mercury, and cadmium does not increase further in patients with gas poisoning by ignition coal. However, prolonged exposure may result in elevated levels of lead.
Effects of N-acetylcystein on changes in parvalbumin-positive interneurons in the hippocampus after carbon monoxide poisoning
Seon Tae Kim, Su Jin Yoo
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(2):100-109.   Published online December 31, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.2.100
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on the injury of putative parvalbumin positive interneurons defined by molecular marker and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a marker of neural plasticity following acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Methods: Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 1100 ppm CO for 40 minutes followed by 3000 ppm CO for 20 minutes. Animals received daily intraperitoneal injection of NAC (150 mg/kg) for 5 days after CO exposure. Changes in learning and spatial memory were evaluated by Y-maze test 5 days after the poisoning. In vivo LTP in hippocampal CA1 area was evaluated by using extracellular electrophysiological technique. Immunohistochemical staining were adopted to observe expressional damages of parvalbumin (PV) immunoreactive interneurons in the hippocampus following the poisoning. Results: Acute CO intoxication resulted in no changes in memory performance at Y-maze test but a significant reduction of LTP in the in hippocampal CA1 area. There was also a significant reduction of PV (+) interneurons in the hippocampal CA1 area 5 days after CO poisoning. Daily treatment of NAC significantly improved hippocampal LTP impairment and reduced immunoreactivity for PV in the hippocampus following the acute CO poisoning. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that reduction of hippocampal LTP and PV (+) interneurons in the hippocampus is sensitive indicator for brain injury and daily NAC injections can be the alternative therapeutics for the injury induced by acute CO poisoning.
Clinical and Epidemiological Characteristics of Severe Poisoning Patients and Analysis of Prognostic Factors
Young Yun Jung, Chul Min Ha, Sung Tae Jung, Hyoung Ju Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2020;18(2):94-101.   Published online December 31, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2020.18.2.94
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Purpose: This study examined the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of intensive care unit (ICU) patients admitted or died in the emergency medical center with acute-poisoning to investigate the variables related to the prognosis. Methods: The data were collected from poisoning patients admitted or died in the emergency medical center of a general hospital located in Seoul, from January 2014 to February 2020. The subjects of this study were 190 patients. The medical records were screened retrospectively, and the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the patients in the emergency room (ER) and ICU were examined to investigate the contributing factors that influence the poor prognosis. Results: The study analyzed 182 patients who survived after being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The results are as follows. The mental change (87.4%) was the most common symptom. Sedative poisoning (49.5%) was the commonest cause. For most patients, pneumonia (26.9%) was the most common complication. Hypotension (23.7%), tachycardia (42.1%), fever (15.8%), seizures (10.5%), dyspnea (2.6%), high poisoning severity score (PSS), type of toxic material, mechanical ventilator application (39.5%), inotropes application (39.5%), and pneumonia (55.3%) were correlated the LOS over 5 days in the ICU. 8 patients died. In the case of death pesticides and carbon monoxide were the main toxic materials; tachycardia, bradycardia, and hypotension were the main symptoms, and a mechanical ventilator and inotropes were applied. Conclusion: Patients with unstable vital signs, high PSS, and non-pharmaceutical poisoning had a prolonged LOS in the ICU and a poor prognosis.
Analysis of Poisoning Patients Using 2017-18 ED Based Injury in-depth Surveillance Data
Jiyoon Koh, Woochan Jeon, Hyunggoo Kang, Yang Weon Kim, Hyun Kim, Bum Jin Oh, Mi Jin Lee, Byeong Jo Chun, Sung Phil Chung, Kyung Hwan Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2020;18(2):85-93.   Published online December 31, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2020.18.2.85
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Purpose: The annual statistics for poisoning are reported based on the data from poison control centers in many advanced countries. In 2016 a study was conducted to analyze the 2016 Korea Poisoning status. This study was conducted to make a better annual report for poisoning statistics in Korea from a 2017-2018 national representative database. Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of poisoning patients based on the data from an emergency department (ED) based injury in-depth surveillance project by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017-2018. Bite or sting injuries were not included. Results: A total of 17714 patients presented to 23 EDs because of poisoning. Adults above 20 years old age accounted for 84.6% of the population, while the proportion of intentional poisoning was 60.8%. The poisoning substance presented in the ED were therapeutic drugs (51.2%), gas (20.3%), pesticides (16.4%), and artificial substances (11.4%). Overall, 35% of patients were admitted for further treatment. The mortality was 2.4% (422 cases), and the most common fatal substances in order were carbon monoxide, other herbicides, and paraquat. Conclusion: This study showed the 2017-2018 status of poisoning in Korea. The prognosis is different from the cause of poisoning and the initial mental state of the patient. Therefore, appropriate methods for preventing poisoning and therapeutic plans in specific situations are needed.

Citations

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The Risk Factors of Acute Cardiovascular and Neurological Toxicity in Acute CO Poisoning Patients and Epidemiologic Features of Exposure Routes
Jinsoo Park, Seunglyul Shin, Youngho Seo, Hyunmin Jung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2020;18(1):34-41.   Published online June 30, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2020.18.1.34
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Purpose: This study evaluated aggressive hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) by understanding various exposure routes of acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, the risk factors causing acute cardiovascular, and neurological toxicity caused by poisoning. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted based on the medical records of 417 acute CO poisoning patients who visited the emergency care unit from March 2017 to August 2019. The exposure routes, HBOT performance, age, sex, medical history (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, heart failure), intentionality, loss of consciousness (LOC), intake with alcohol or sedatives, and initial test results (carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), troponin-I, electrocardiography, echocardiography, brain MRI) were examined. Comparative analysis of the clinical information was conducted between the groups that showed acute cardiovascular toxicity and neurological toxicity, and groups that did not. Results: Among 417 patients diagnosed with acute CO poisoning, 201 cases (48.2%) were intentional, and charcoal briquette was the most common route (169 patients (40.5%)). Two hundred sixteen cases (51.8%) were accidental, and fire was the most common route (135 patients (32.4%)). The exposure route was more diverse with accidental poisoning. Three hundred ninety-nine patients were studied for acute cardiovascular toxicity, and 62 patients (15.5%) were confirmed to be positive. The result was statistically significant in intentionality, LOC, combined sedatives, initial COHb, HTN, and IHD. One hundred two patients were studied for acute neurological toxicity, which was observed in 26 patients (25.5%). The result was statistically significant in age and LOC. Conclusion: Active HBOT should be performed to minimize damage to the major organs by identifying the various exposure routes of CO poisoning, risk factors for acute cardiovascular toxicity (intentionality, LOC, combined sedatives, initial COHb, HTN, IHD), and the risk factors for acute neurological toxicity (age, LOC).
Associations between Early Hyperoxia and Long Term Neurologic Outcome in Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Ju Chan Kim, Byeong Jo Chun, Jeong Mi Moon, Young Soo Cho
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2020;18(1):18-25.   Published online June 30, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2020.18.1.18
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Purpose: We studied the impact of arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) on the long term neurologic outcome in patients with acute carbon monoxide poisoning. Methods: The study population included 311 patients who presented to emergency department with acute CO poisoning from January 2015 to January 2018. These patients underwent arterial blood gas testing at the time of presentation. The baseline demographic, clinical, laboratory, and clinical outcome data were recorded. The primary outcome of interest was the long term neurologic status. Results: The normoxia group was significantly older and it had a higher incidence of diffusion weighted MRI abnormality, and this group needed multiple HBO sessions compared to the group with moderate or severe hyperoxia. Also, the incidence of altered mentality at discharge was higher in the normoxia group than that of the moderate hyperoxia group. The incidence of a poor long term neurologic outcome was 11.3%. The incidence of a poor long term neurologic outcome decreased as the PaO2 increased. The PaO2 was significantly lower in patients with a poor long term neurologic outcome than that of the patients with a good outcome 198 (165.2 to 231.1) mmHg in the good outcome group vs. 154 (119-162) mmHg in poor outcome, p<0.001). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, PaO2 was selected as an independent factor of the poor long-term neurologic outcome (OR 0.981 (95% CI: 0.968 to 0.995)) Conclusion: Higher PaO2 was independently associated with a lower incidence of a poor long-term neurologic outcome.
PaCO2 at Early Stage is Associated with Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Keun Mo Yang, Byeong Jo Chun, Jeong Mi Moon, Young Soo Cho
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2019;17(2):86-93.   Published online December 31, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2019.17.2.86
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Purpose: The objective was to determine the association between PaCO2 and adverse cardiovascular events (ACVEs) in carbon monoxide (CO)-poisoned patients. Methods: This retrospective study included 194 self-breathing patients after CO poisoning with an indication for hyperbaric oxygen therapy and available arterial blood gas analysis at presentation and 6 hours later. The baseline characteristics and clinical course during hospitalization were collected and compared. The mean PaCO2 during the first 6 hours after presentation was calculated. Results: The incidence rates of moderate (30 mmHg< PaCO2 <35 mmHg) or severe (PaCO2 ≤30 mmHg) hypocapnia at presentation after acute CO poisoning were 40.7% and 26.8%, respectively. The mean PaCO2 during the first 6 hours was 33 (31-36.7) mmHg. The incidence of ACVEs during hospitalization was 50.5%. A significant linear trend in the incidence of ACVEs was observed across the total ranges of PaCO2 variables. In multivariate regression analysis, mean PaCO2 was independently associated with ACVEs (OR 0.798 (95% CI 0.641-0.997)). Conclusion: Mean PaCO2 during the first 6 hours was associated with increased ACVEs. Given the high incidence of ACVEs and PaCO2 derangement and the observed association between PaCO2 and ACVEs, this study suggests that 1) PaCO2 should be monitored at the acute stage to predict and/or prevent ACVEs; and 2) further study is needed to validate this result and investigate early manipulation of PaCO2 as treatment.
Application of Thallium Autometallography for Observation of Changes in Excitability of Rodent Brain following Acute Carbon Monoxide Intoxication
Min Soo Lee, Seung Bum Yang, Jun Ho Heo
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2019;17(2):66-78.   Published online December 31, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2019.17.2.66
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Purpose: Thallium (TI+) autometallography is often used for the imaging of neuronal metabolic activity in the rodent brain under various pathophysiologic conditions. The purpose of this study was to apply a thallium autometallographic technique to observe changes in neuronal activity in the forebrain of rats following acute carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication. Methods: In order to induce acute CO intoxication, adult Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 1100 ppm of CO for 40 minutes, followed by 3000 ppm of CO for 20 minutes. Animals were sacrificed at 30 minutes and 5 days after induction of acute CO intoxication for thallium autometallography. Immunohistochemical staining and toluidine blue staining were performed to observe cellular damage in the forebrain following intoxication. Results: Acute CO intoxication resulted in significant reduction of TI+ uptake in major forebrain structures, including the cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, and striatum. In the cortex and hippocampal CA1 area, marked reduction of TI+ uptake was observed in the cell bodies and dendrites of pyramidal neurons at 30 minutes following acute CO intoxication. There was also strong uptake of TI+ in astrocytes in the hippocampal CA3 area following acute CO intoxication. However, there were no significant histological findings of cell death and no reduction of NeuN (+) neuronal populations in the cortex and hippocampus at 5 days after acute CO intoxication. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that thallium autometallography can be a new and useful technique for imaging functional changes in neural activity of the forebrain structure following mild to moderate CO intoxication.
A Preliminary Study for Effect of High Flow Oxygen through Nasal Cannula Therapy in Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Young-Min Kim, Sang-Chul Kim, Kwan-Jin Park, Seok-Woo Lee, Ji-Han Lee, Hoon Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2019;17(2):102-107.   Published online December 31, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2019.17.2.102
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Purpose: Acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is one of the most common types of poisoning and a major health problem worldwide. Treatment options are limited to normobaric oxygen therapy, administered using a non-rebreather face mask or hyperbaric oxygen. Compared to conventional oxygen therapy, high-flow nasal cannula oxygen (HFNC) creates a positive pressure effect through high-flow rates. The purpose of this human pilot study is to determine the effects of HFNC on the rate of CO clearance from the blood, in patients with mild to moderate CO poisoning. Methods: CO-poisoned patients were administered 100% oxygen from HFNC (flow of 60 L/min). The fraction of COHb (fCOHb) was measured at 30-min intervals until it decreased to under 10%, and the half-life time of fCOHb (fCOHb t1/2) was subsequently determined. Results: At the time of ED arrival, a total of 10 patients had fCOHb levels ≥10%, with 4 patients ranging between 10% and 50%. The mean rate of fCOHb elimination patterns exhibits logarithmic growth curves that initially increase quickly with time (HFNC equation, Y=0.3388*X+11.67). The mean fCOHbt1/2 in the HFNC group was determined to be 48.5±12.4 minutes. Conclusion: In patients with mild to moderate CO poisoning, oxygen delivered via high flow nasal cannula is a safe and comfortable method to treat acute CO toxicity, and is effective in reducing the COHb half-life. Our results indicate HFNC to be a promising alternative method of delivering oxygen for CO toxicity. Validating the effectiveness of this method will require larger studies with clinical outcomes.
Association between Smoking and Delayed Neuropsychological Sequelae in Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Hak Myeon Kim, Sung Woo Choi, Sang Un Nah, Hyo Jeong Choi, Hoon Lim, Gi Woon Kim, Sang Soo Han, Young Hwan Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2018;16(2):102-107.   Published online December 31, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2018.16.2.102
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Purpose: This study examined the association between smoking and delayed neuropsychological sequelae (DNS) in acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Methods: Patients admitted to the medical center emergency department from March 2016 to March 2017 because of CO poisoning were examined retrospectively. The patients were divided into two groups: DNS and Non-DNS group. Multiple factors were analyzed to explain DNS, which was assessed by motor disturbances, cognitive impairment, dysphagia, Parkinson-like syndromes, epilepsy, and emotional lability in CO poisoning. Results: A total of 120 patients were included. The factors related to DNS were smoking (pack-years) (p=0.002) and initial carbon monoxide-hemoglobin level (p=0.015). On the other hand, after multivariate logistic regression analysis, smoking (Odds ratio 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.13; p=0.004) was the only factor associated with DNS. Conclusion: Smoking is a very reliable factor for predicting the occurrence of DNS. A history of smoking in patients who suffer from CO intoxication is important. If a patient smokes, treatment should be started actively and as soon as possible.
Analysis of Poisoning Patients Using 2016 ED Based Injury in-depth Surveillance Data
Sung Phil Chung, Mi Jin Lee, Hyunggoo Kang, Bum Jin Oh, Hyun Kim, Yang Weon Kim, Byeong Jo Chun, Kyung Hwan Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(2):86-93.   Published online December 31, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.2.86
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Purpose: Some advanced countries have reported annual statistics for poisoning based on data from poison control centers. This study was conducted to propose a baseline format and statistics of poisoning in Korea from a national representative database. Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of poisoning patients based on data from an emergency department (ED) based injury in-depth surveillance project by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016. Bite or sting injuries were not included. Variables related to poisoning were summarized using a similar format as the National Poison Data System in the United States. Results: A total of 7,820 poisoning patients presented to 23 EDs. Adults ${geq}20$ years accounted for 84% of the population, while the proportion of intentional poisoning was 59.4%. The most common poisoning substances were therapeutic drugs (45%), gas (21%), pesticides (15%), and artificial toxic substances (13%). Overall, 34.5% of patients were admitted for further treatment. The mortality was 3.2% (248 cases), and the most common causative substances were carbon monoxide, glyphosate, and paraquat, in order. Conclusion: This study showed the recent status of poisoning in Korea. However, a comprehensive poisoning registry based on poison control centers may be required to provide more accurate national statistics in the future.
Analysis of Death Due to Poisoning in the National Capital Region (2014-2016)
Meejung Park, Jongsin Park, Sangki Lee, Sangwhan In
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(2):101-106.   Published online December 31, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.2.101
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Purpose: This study examined the patterns of drugs, poisons, and chemicals detected in autopsy samples performed in the Seoul Institute and other regional forensic offices of the National Forensic Service (NFS) between 2014 and 2016. Methods: The investigation carried out using the laboratory information management system. Forensic toxicological identification and quantitation were performed in autopsy samples, including heart blood, peripheral blood, liver, kidney, vitreous humor and etc. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were used to analyze the drugs and poisons. Results: Forensic autopsies were performed on 9,674 cases in this period. Based on the autopsy reports, 699 cases (7.2%) were considered as unnatural deaths caused by fatal intoxication. The number of male deaths was higher than that of female deaths, with the age of 50-59 being the most common age group. Conclusion: Drugs comprised the largest number of deaths due to poison, followed by alcohol, agrochemicals, drug with alcohol, carbon monoxide, and cyanide, in that order. Zolpidem was the most frequently used drug in all drug-related intoxication cases.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology