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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
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00019
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AbstractAbstract PDF
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusion
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.
Utility of the APACHE II score as a neurological prognostic factor for glufosinate-intoxicated patients with alert mental status
Rok Lee, Tae Yong Shin, Hyung Jun Moon, Hyun Jung Lee, Dongkil Jeong, Dongwook Lee, Sun In Hong, Hyun Joon Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(2):135-142.   Published online December 29, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00018
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: In patients with glufosinate poisoning, severe neurological symptoms may be closely related to a poor prognosis, but their appearance may be delayed. Therefore, this study aimed to determine whether the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score could predict the neurological prognosis in patients with glufosinate poisoning who present to the emergency room with alert mental status.
Methods
This study was conducted retrospectively through a chart review for patients over 18 years who presented to a single emergency medical center from January 2018 to December 2022 due to glufosinate poisoning. Patients were divided into groups with a good neurological prognosis (Cerebral Performance Category [CPC] Scale 1 or 2) and a poor prognosis (CPC Scale 3, 4, or 5) to identify whether any variables showed significant differences between the two groups.
Results
There were 66 patients (67.3%) with good neurological prognoses and 32 (32.8%) with poor prognoses. In the multivariate logistic analysis, the APACHE II score, serum amylase, and co-ingestion of alcohol showed significant results, with odds ratios of 1.387 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.027–1.844), 1.017 (95% CI, 1.002–1.032), and 0.196 (95% CI, 0.040–0.948), respectively. With an APACHE II score cutoff of 6.5, the AUC was 0.826 (95% CI, 0.746–0.912). The cutoff of serum amylase was 75.5 U/L, with an AUC was 0.761 (95% CI, 0.652–0.844), and the AUC of no co-ingestion with alcohol was 0.629 (95% CI, 0.527–0.722).
Conclusion
The APACHE II score could be a useful indicator for predicting the neurological prognosis of patients with glufosinate poisoning who have alert mental status.
A retrospective analysis of toxic alcohol poisoning
Jin Kim, Yu Jin Lee, Tae Kyu Ahn, Soo Kang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(2):143-150.   Published online December 29, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00014
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Purpose: This study aimed to compare the clinical features of methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning.
Methods
This single-center retrospective observational study included patients with toxic alcohol poisoning who visited a regional emergency medical center. Patients with methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning from January 2004 to June 2023 were selected for the study using diagnostic codes.
Results
Twenty-two patients with toxic alcohol poisoning visited during the study period, with 11 patients for each category. Compared to methanol poisoning, ethylene glycol poisoning patients were more likely to have consumed alcohol for suicidal purposes (n=4 [36.36%] vs. n=8 [72.73%]) and were more likely to be drowsy (n=0 vs. n=6 [54.55%], p=0.016). The anion gap (25.43±8.35 mmol/L vs. 13.22±6.23 mmol/L, p=0.001) and lactic acid levels (1.785 [1.3–2.785] mmol/L vs. 9.90 [4.20–11.81] mmol/L, p=0.007) were higher in ethylene glycol poisoning patients than in methanol poisoning patients. Among alcohol dehydrogenase blockers, oral ethanol was administered to 10 patients (45.45%) (n=4 [36.36%] vs. n=6 [54.55%]), and intravenous ethanol was administered to six patients (n=4 [36.36%] vs. n=2 [18.18%]). Fomepizole was administered to two patients (9.09%) each, and renal replacement therapy was non-significantly more common in patients with ethylene glycol poisoning (n=8 [72.73%] vs. n=3 [27.27%], p=0.128). Three patients had delays in diagnosis and treatment, and while there were no fatalities, one patient was left with permanent vision damage.
Conclusion
Because these are uncommon types of poisoning and the clinical presentation is difficult to recognize early, healthcare providers should be familiar with toxic alcohol types and screen for them to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
Predicting serum acetaminophen concentrations in acute poisoning for safe termination of N-acetylcysteine in a resource-limited environment
Dahae Kim, Kyungman Cha, Byung Hak So
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(2):128-134.   Published online December 29, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00013
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: The Prescott nomogram has been utilized to forecast hepatotoxicity from acute acetaminophen poisoning. In developing countries, emergency medical centers lack the resources to report acetaminophen concentrations; thus, the commencement and cessation of treatment are based on the reported dose. This study investigated risk factors that can predict acetaminophen detection after 15 hours for safe treatment termination.
Methods
Data were collected from an urban emergency medical center from 2010 to 2020. The study included patients ≥14 years of age with acute acetaminophen poisoning within 15 hours. The correlation between risk factors and detection of acetaminophen 15 hours after ingestion was evaluated using logistic regression, and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated.
Results
In total, 181 patients were included in the primary analysis; the median dose was 150.9 mg/kg and 35 patients (19.3%) had acetaminophen detected 15 hours after ingestion. The dose per weight and the time to visit were significant predictors for acetaminophen detection after 15 hours (odds ratio, 1.020 and 1.030, respectively). The AUCs were 0.628 for a 135 mg/kg cut-off value and 0.658 for a cut-off 450 minutes, and that of the combined model was 0.714 (sensitivity: 45.7%, specificity: 91.8%).
Conclusion
Where acetaminophen concentrations are not reported during treatment following the UK guidelines, it is safe to start N-acetylcysteine immediately for patients who are ≥14 years old, visit within 15 hours after acute poisoning, and report having ingested ≥135 mg/kg. Additional N-acetylcysteine doses should be considered for patients visiting after 8 hours.
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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AbstractAbstract PDF
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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AbstractAbstract PDF
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.
Poisoning patients’ clinical features according to the blood level of propranolol
Sungheon Kim, Byung Hak So, Hyung Min Kim, Kyeong Man Cha, Hwan Song, Won Jung Jeong
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(1):56-63.   Published online June 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00010
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: Propranolol is widely prescribed to psychiatric patients to control adrenergic symptoms. However, propranolol poisoning can be fatal due to cardiovascular complications. We analyzed associations between blood levels of propranolol and patients’ clinical features, with the aim of predicting progression to severe complications.
Methods
Data were collected from patients aged 18 years or older who presented to the emergency department with propranolol poisoning between January 2016 and May 2022. We retrospectively analyzed their medical records and compared blood levels of propranolol between those who had cardiovascular complications and those who did not.
Results
Two hundred patients were included in this study. The blood levels of propranolol were significantly higher in patients with hypotension, bradycardia, and prolonged QT intervals, with median values of 247.0 ng/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 56.5–333.8 ng/mL), 275.8 ng/mL (IQR, 154.3–486.4 ng/mL), and 159.0 ng/mL (IQR, 33.9–310.8 ng/mL), respectively. In the predictive analysis of cardiovascular complications using a receiver operating characteristic curve, the area under the curve was 0.729 with a cut-off value of 72.40 ng/mL (sensitivity, 0.667; specificity, 0.819). In addition, the correlation coefficient between blood levels and the amount of drug described during the history-taking at the time of presentation was 0.634, which was found to have a significantly higher relationship.
Conclusion
Because blood levels of propranolol can be used as predictors of exacerbation in patients with propranolol poisoning, patients with blood levels above 72.40 ng/dL require careful treatment and observation from their initial presentation at the emergency department.
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.
2022 Annual Report of the Seoul Poison Control Center
Yo Han Shin, Sijin Lee, Su Jin Kim, Young Hoon Yoon, Sung Woo Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(1):39-55.   Published online June 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00006
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Purpose: The Korea University Anam Hospital Seoul Poison Control Center (SeoulPCC) was established in accordance with Seoul Metropolitan Government Ordinance No. 7524 “Seoul Metropolitan Government Ordinance on the Prevention of Toxic Substances Poisoning and Accident Safety.” Herein, the center’s annual performance in terms of project results and consultation information for 2022 are reported.
Methods
SeoulPCC operates a helpline (Help Call, 1855-2221) that the general public can use from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays, as well as chatting and chatbot counseling through KakaoTalk’s “Seoul Poison Control Center,” and one-on-one online counseling through the website. Additionally, it has constructed a system for communicating with the general public through social media. Poisoning disease information collected from SeoulPCC from January to December 2022 was analyzed according to the number of requests, age of exposure, gender, location, and reason. Requests from the general public were summarized, and a brief image presenting information on poisoning disease-related consultations was produced.
Results
SeoulPCC has a database containing information on 188,065 toxic substances collected by public institutions and provides this information to the general public and medical staff through its website. In 2022, consultations were performed through phone calls and SNS (social networking service) for 577 cases of poison information and first aid treatment due to exposure to toxic substances. There were 1,431 instances of providing poison information services. The annual requests included 512 exposure cases and 65 non-exposure cases. Furthermore, 366 cases were in Seoul, 145 cases were outside of Seoul, and 66 had an unknown location. The exposure cases included 161 requests from the general public and 351 requests from medical staff.
Conclusion
This is the first annual report in Korea to analyze the occurrence of poisoning based on consultations. It is of major significance that this report serves as a starting point for identifying and tracking the aspects and characteristics of poisoning cases in the pre-hospital stage. In the future, poisoning-related disease information provided through consultations and at the emergency room should be linked, and through real-time collection and analysis, this information should be used as basic data for poisoning disease management policies.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • 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
    Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology.2023; 21(2): 69.     CrossRef
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
  • 491 View
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AbstractAbstract PDF
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.
Case Report
Pulmonary thromboembolism following organophosphate intoxication: a case report
Ji Ho Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(1):64-67.   Published online June 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00002
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Various symptoms manifest after organophosphate intoxication due to muscarinic, nicotinic, and central nervous system effects. Complications are common, and morbidity occurs due to respiratory center depression, cardiovascular complications, aspiration pneumonia, general weakness, and neurological symptoms. Some studies have reported a statistically significant association between organophosphate intoxication and deep vein thrombosis. However, cases of pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) resulting from organophosphate poisoning are very rare. A 45-year-old male patient was transferred to our hospital after ingesting an unknown amount of an insecticide and receiving 6 L of gastric lavage at a local hospital. Other than nausea, no symptoms (e.g., dyspnea) were present, but a hemodynamic test showed an elevated lactic acid level, and metabolic acidosis worsened over time. Accordingly, we conducted initial treatment including continuous renal replacement therapy. After 7 hours, the poisoning analysis result was confirmed, and lambda-cyhalothrin and chlorpyrifos (0.441 µg/mL and 0.401 µg/mL, respectively) were detected. We introduced pralidoxime. Although no increase in pseudocholinesterase was found during hospitalization, continuous renal replacement therapy and pralidoxime were discontinued because the patient did not show symptoms of intermediate syndrome, including dyspnea and altered consciousness. The patient complained of abdominal pain on hospital day 8. Abdominal computed tomography was performed to evaluate the possibility of a corrosive injury to the stomach or esophagus, and we confirmed PTE. The D-dimer level was 1.96 mg/L (normal range, 0–0.55 mg/dL). A radiologic examination showed a PTE in the main pulmonary artery leading to the segmental pulmonary artery. After heparinization, the patient was discharged after being prescribed a vitamin K-independent oral anticoagulant. Through this case, we would like to emphasize the need for a thorough evaluation of clinical symptoms because atypical symptoms can occur after poisoning with organophosphate pesticides.
Original Articles
Association between continuous renal replacement therapy and mortality after acute herbicide (glyphosate and/or glufosinate) intoxication: propensity score matching approach
Seung Woo Lee, Won-joon Jeong, Seung Ryu, Yongchul Cho, Yeonho You, Jung Soo Park, Changshin Kang, Hong Joon Ahn, So Young Jeon, Jinwoong Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(1):17-23.   Published online June 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2023.00001
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: We investigated the association between continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and mortality after acute glyphosate or glufosinate intoxication.
Methods
The electronic medical records of patients with acute herbicide ingestion who were admitted to the regional emergency center of a metropolitan city in Korea from 3/1/2013 to 2/28/2022 were analyzed and reviewed retrospectively. The case group received CRRT, while the control group did not. In total, 96 patients experienced acute herbicide intoxication in the study period. Baseline characteristics were analyzed and compared between the two groups after propensity score matching. The outcome variable was mortality fitted by a Cox proportional hazard model.
Results
After full matching between cases of CRRT use and controls (patients who did not receive CRRT) using propensity scores, 96 patients (27 cases, 69 controls) were analyzed. Propensity matching yielded adequate balance (standardized mean differences <0.25) for all covariates. We fit a Cox proportional hazards model with survival as the outcome and CRRT as a factor, including the matching weights in the estimation. The estimated hazard ratio was 0.41 (95% confidence interval, 0.23–0.76; p=0.0044), indicating that CRRT reduced mortality.
Conclusion
In this propensity score-matched analysis, CRRT reduced mortality in patients who visited the hospital with acute glyphosate or glufosinate intoxication. In patients with acute herbicide poisoning with high severity calculated by the APACHE II (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II) score and SOFA (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) score, CRRT should be actively considered to improve the survival rate.
Status and trends of medical expenditures for poisoning patients
Eung Nam Kim, Soyoung Jeon, Hye Sun Lee, Sung Phil Chung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2023;21(1):24-31.   Published online June 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2022.00017
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to estimate the medical expenditures for poisoning patients in Korea using data from National Health Insurance and the Korea Health Panel Survey.
Methods
The operational definition of poisoning was the presence of Korean Standard Classification of Diseases codes from T36 to T65. The number of poisoning patients, the amount of legal copayments, and benefit and non-benefit costs were extracted from both databases. The frequency of emergency, inpatient, and outpatient treatment utilization by poisoning patients was determined, and medical expenses were calculated. Linear regression analyses were performed to investigate factors affecting the medical expenses of poisoning patients.
Results
The number of poisoning patients increased from 97,965 in 2011 to 147,984 persons in 2020. Medical expenses also increased by 74% from Korean won (KRW) 30.1 billion to KRW 52.3 billion, and benefit costs also increased by 79%. The average outpatient cost per person was KRW 67,660, and the inpatient cost was KRW 1,485,103. The average non-benefit medical expenses were KRW 80,298, accounting for about 16.2% of the total expenses. Multivariable analysis showed that the total expenditure was associated with economic status and disabilities.
Conclusion
The average medical expenditure per poisoning patient was KRW 534,302 in 2020, and poisoning-related costs gradually increased during the study period. Further research on the economic burden of poisoning should include indirect costs and reflect disease-adjusted life years.
Cardiac arrest and severe encephalopathy following e-cigarette nicotine intoxication: a case report
Park Jinwon, Yun Sunghyun
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2022;20(2):82-85.   Published online December 31, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2022.20.2.82
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Traditionally, most cases of nicotine poisoning have been due to ingestion of nicotine pesticides. However, the increasing use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has resulted in both intentional and unintentional exposure to concentrated liquid nicotine or “eliquid” leading to an increase in nicotine poisoning cases. However, fatalities following the ingestion of the e-liquid are extremely rare. We report a rare case of cardiac arrest and severe encephalopathy following the intentional ingestion of e-liquid. We present the case of a 20-year-old woman who intentionally ingested liquid nicotine intended for e-cigarette use. She was found in asystole and experienced a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after undergoing approximately 46 mins of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Her plasma nicotine levels were >500 ng/ml. Despite aggressive supportive care, she was found to have encephalopathy consistent with severe anoxic brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging. In recent times, there have been some reports of deaths following liquid nicotine ingestion. Our case illustrates the potential for fatal nicotine toxicity from ingestion of e-cigarettes.
Prediction of pathogen positive-culture results in acute poisoning patients with suspected aspiration
Sungha Baek, Sungwook Park
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2022;20(2):75-81.   Published online December 31, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2022.20.2.75
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: This study sought to compare the characteristics of patients with pathogen-positive and negative cultures, and to investigate factors predicting pathogen-positive culture results in patients of acute poisoning with suspected aspiration. Methods: Consecutive patients with acute poisoning admitted to an intensive care unit between January 2016 and December 2018 were retrospectively studied. Respiratory specimens were collected from the enrolled patients at the time of the suspected aspiration. We compared the characteristics of patients with pathogen-positive and negative culture results and analyzed the causative pathogens. Results: Among the 526 patients, 325 showed no clinical features that could be attributed to aspiration, and 201 patients had clinical features suggestive of aspiration. Of these, 113 patients had pathogen-positive culture, 61 were negative, and the specimens of 27 patients contained poor-quality sputum. In univariate analysis, patients with a positive culture showed a longer time to culture from ingestion (p=0.01), faster heart rate (p=0.01), and higher partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2) (p=0.02) than patients with negative culture. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that PaO2/FiO2 (adjusted odd ratio, 1.005; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.002-1.008; p=0.005) was a significant risk factor for pathogen-positive culture. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of PaO2/FiO2 was 0.591 (95% CI, 0.510-0.669, p=0.05). Gram-negative pathogens (GNPs) were predominant and at least one GNP was observed in 84 (73.3%) patients among those with pathogen positive culture. Conclusion: We failed to find any clinical factors associated with positive culture results. Antibiotics that cover GNPs could be considered when deciding the initial antibiotic regimen at the time of suspected aspiration.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology