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Eun Sun Lee 1 Article
The 2022 Annual Report on Toxicology Surveillance and Severe Poisoning Cases at Emergency Departments in Korea
Eun Sun Lee, Su Jin Kim, Gyu Chong Cho, Mi Jin Lee, Byung Hak So, Kyung Su Kim, Juhyun Song, Sung Woo Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(1):1-16.   Published online June 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00007
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Purpose: This study investigated the actual incidence of acute poisoning in Korea on a nationwide scale, with the aim of laying the groundwork for future initiatives in prevention, strategic antidote distribution, and the development of effective emergency treatment for acute poisoning.
Methods
The study analyzed data from 3,038 patients who presented to emergency departments with poisoning-related conditions from June 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 at 10 sites in nine cities across the country. We extracted data on general characteristics of the poisoning cases, including demographic characteristics (age and gender), place of exposure, reason for poisoning, route of exposure, and the substance involved in the poisoning incident. Age-related patterns in reasons for poisoning, medical outcomes, frequent and primary poisoning substances, and deaths were also analyzed.
Results
The population analyzed in our study was predominantly female, with women constituting 54.74% of all cases. Among infants and children, non-intentional poisoning due to general accidents was the most common cause, accounting for 71.43% of cases. Conversely, suicidal poisoning was more prevalent among teenagers and adults over 20. Fifty-two patients died during the study period, with males comprising approximately two-thirds (67.31%) of these fatalities. Pesticides were the most common poisoning substance among those who died, accounting for 55.77% of such cases. Notably, a significant majority of the victims were elderly individuals aged 60 and above.
Conclusion
This study holds substantial significance, since it represents the first comprehensive investigation and analysis of the symptoms, treatment, and causes of death due to poisoning in Korea on a national scale. By substantially expanding the range and types of poisonous substances examined, we were able to more precisely identify the characteristics and clinical patterns of poisoning cases nationwide.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology