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HOME > J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol > Volume 10(2); 2012 > Article
Recent Epidemiologic Features of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Korea: A Single Center Retrospective Cohort Study
Byung Ho Choi, Jin Jeon, Seung Mok Ryoo, Dong Woo Seo, Won Young Kim, Bum Jin Oh, Kyoung Soo Lim, Chang Hwa Sohn
Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology 2012;10(2):80-85
DOI: https://doi.org/
Published online: December 31, 2012
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1Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University College of Medicine
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University College of Medicine
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University College of Medicine
4Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University College of Medicine
5Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University College of Medicine
6Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University College of Medicine
7Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University College of Medicine
8Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University College of Medicine

Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiologic characteristics of adult patients with carbon monoxide poisoning who presented to the emergency department in recent years. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study on adult consecutive patients with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning who presented to the emergency department of a tertiary care university-affiliated hospital from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2011. Results: A total of 91 patients were included in this study; there were 56(61.5%) unintentional and 35(38.5%) intentional poisonings. For the unintentional CO poisonings, the principal sources of exposure to CO were fire (39.3%), charcoal (17.9%), briquette charcoal (7.1%), wood burning boiler (7.1%), gas boiler (5.4%), automobile heater (3.6%), briquette boiler (3.6%), firewood (3.6%), and other items (12.5%). For the intentional CO poisonings, the sources were ignition charcoal (60.0%), briquette (31.4%), charcoal (5.7%) and butane gas (2.9%). For the unintentional CO poisonings, the places of poisoning were the home (58.9%), workplace (10.7%), public accommodation (8.9%), tent (8.9%), automobile (3.6%) and parking place (1.8%). For the intentional CO poisonings, the places of poisoning were the home (77.1%), public accommodation (11.4%) and automobile (11.4%). The proportion of intentional CO poisonings among total poisonings has increased significantly in recent years; 0.0% in 2008, 3.3% in 2009, 5.5% in 2010, and 29.7% in 2011. Conclusion: This study showed that in recent years in Korea, the source of CO has diversified broadly and intentional CO poisonings from burning ignition charcoal or briquettes has increased. Prevention efforts should consider these factors.

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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology