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Original 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.
Comparison of medical history based diagnosis and urine test using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in drug overdose
Ja-Young Lee, Kyungman Cha, Won Jung Jeong, Hyung Min Kim, Byung Hak So
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2022;20(1):1-7.   Published online June 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2022.20.1.1
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: In patients with acute drug overdose, identification of drugs ingested is crucial to make a precise diagnosis. In most cases, the diagnoses are made on the medical history and physical examination findings. This study was undertaken to determine the concordance of diagnosis made on the basis of patient history by comparing it with urine toxicology analysis. Methods: This was a retrospective study of drug intoxicated patients over 18 years old who presented to the emergency center from 2017 to 2019. Specimens from urine were tested using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-TMS). The test results were compared with information obtained from patients. Diagnostic concordances for drug detection in intoxicated patients were calculated. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between clinical characteristics and diagnostic discrepancy. Results: Totally, 370 patients were included in the analysis. Overall, 66 types of drugs were detected by UPLC-TMS. The drugs detected most frequently were zolpidem (104, 27.8%), citalopram (70, 18.7%), and paracetamol (66, 17.6%). The mean diagnostic concordance of patients was 52.7%. There were statistically significant diagnostic discrepancies in patients with underlying depression and patients intoxicated with multiple types of drugs. Conclusion: In ED patients with acute drug overdose, the diagnoses made on history alone were often inaccurate. It is essential to perform urine toxicology tests such as UPLC-TMS as a confirmatory instrument to improve accuracy in evaluating patients with drug intoxication.
A satisfaction survey of toxicological laboratory: Survey of regional and local emergency medical centers
Dong Woo Son, Ji Hun Kang, Yang Weon Kim, Chul Ho Park, Yoo Sang Yoon, Jae Gu Ji
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(2):110-126.   Published online December 31, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.2.110
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to find out the current status of toxicology laboratory operated by six locations nationwide and to investigate the satisfaction of emergency medical professionals who working at local and regional emergency medical centers. Methods: This survey was conducted prospective. It was conducted on 665 emergency medical professionals working at regional and regional emergency medical centers across the South Korea. Among them, the analysis was conducted with data that 510 emergency medical professionals who respond to this survey. The questionnaire was conducted on an online basis for a month. To ensure statistical significance, consider a dropout rate of 10% based on a minimum response recovery rate of 70%. 506 people were selected for the survey. Results: According to a survey on the status of addiction analysis room usage, the average monthly usage of addiction test rooms among respondents were 406 cases.71.0 cases (17.4%) of toxicology laboratory in Seoul and 71 cases (17.4%) in Gwangju. 32 cases (7.8%), 118 cases (29.0%) requested by toxicology laboratory in Busan, and the toxicology laboratory in Daegu. Eighty two cases (20.1%), Daejeon area 25 cases (6.1%), Wonju area toxicology laboratory was 78 (19.6%). According to a survey on the satisfaction of the addiction analysis room,Seoul (4.9±2.71) and Gwangju (4.8±2.52) showed high satisfaction. Conclusion: Due to the limited operation time of the four addiction analysis rooms currently in operation, the satisfaction level of addiction analysis by emergency medical professionals in the area is low due to the delay until the result is notified.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • 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
    Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology.2023; 21(1): 32.     CrossRef
Availability of urine toxicologic screening tests in the emergency department: focused on illegal drugs
Se Kyu Lee, Sangchun Choi
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2021;19(1):24-30.   Published online June 30, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2021.19.1.24
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: In Korea, it is predicted that the proportion of drug abusers among patients visiting the emergency room will soon increase. Several emergency medical institutions in Korea are conducting field urine screening tests for poisoning. In this study, we investigated the characteristics and usefulness of urine toxicology screening tests. Methods: The medical records of patients with positive results for tetrahydrocannabinol and methamphetamine from urine toxicology screening tests at a tertiary university hospital from August 2016 to August 2019 were reviewed retrospectively. The subjects were classified into positive and false-positive groups, and their clinical characteristics were compared and analyzed. Results: Of the 2,026 patients surveyed, 823 patients (40.6%) tested positive for one or more drugs. Among them, 12 cases (0.6%) were positive for methamphetamine and 40 cases (2.0%) were positive for tetrahydrocannabinol. The positive and the false-positive rates for methamphetamine were 66.7% and 33.3%, respectively. The positive and the false-positive rates for tetrahydrocannabinol were 2.5% and 97.5%, respectively. Conclusion: Methamphetamine showed a relatively low false-positive rate in our study. Therefore, this test seemed to assist in diagnosing methamphetamine poisoning when considered together with the present illness and physical examination results. On the other hand, the high false-positive rate for tetrahydrocannabinol tests indicates that this test was unlikely to assist in diagnosing tetrahydrocannabinol poisoning. However, considering the growing trend of illegal drug abusers in Korea, it may still be useful as a diagnostic tool for identifying drug users.
Zolpidem Detection and Blood Level in Acute Poisoning-suspected Patients in Emergency Departments: Review of 229 Cases
Jaehyung Yu, Hanseok Chang, Sinae Won, Jeonghun Yeom, Arum Lee, Na-Youn Park, Bum Jin Oh
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2019;17(2):118-125.   Published online December 31, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2019.17.2.118
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: Non-benzodiazepine hypnotic drugs (including zolpidem) are associated with an increased risk of suicide and suicidal ideation. Considering the wide usage of zolpidem, this drug should be considered a possible etiology for stupor or coma in any patient exposed to this drug. However, there are no reports on zolpidem blood levels in emergency department patients in Korea. We therefore reviewed the analyzed data of a toxicology laboratory at one university affiliated hospital. Methods: The sex, age, chief symptoms, suspiciousness of poisoning, and presumption of poison were analyzed from January 2018 to June 2019. The detection frequency and level of zolpidem in the patient blood were compared to the mental changes presented, which is the main consequence of zolpidem. Results: A total of 229 toxicological analyses, requested to a toxicological laboratory at one university affiliated hospital, were reviewed. Among 229 patients, the mean age was 54.3±20.7 years old with 113 women and 116 men. 8.7% of patients have psychiatric illness and 39.7% were poisoned intentionally. The chief symptoms detected were: mental change 55.0%, gastrointestinal 14.4%, cardiovascular 10.5%, focal neurological 7.4%, respiratory 3.5%, none 8.7%, and unknown 0.4%. A request for detailed reports revealed that causative poisons were specified only in 20.1% cases. Zolpidem was detected in 22.3% cases (51/229), with median blood level 1.26 mg/L (interquartile 0.1, 5.06 mg/L) and urine 0.90 mg/L (interquartile 0.11, 5.6 mg/L). Furthermore, zolpidem was more frequently detected in toxicology analysis of patients where mental change was the primary symptom, as compared to other symptoms (32.5% vs. 9.7%, p<0.01). Conclusion: This study reported the blood level of zolpidem in suspected poisoning patients admitted to the emergency department.
Evaluation of Cut-off Values in Acute Acetaminophen Intoxication Following the Revised Guideline of the United Kingdom
Sung Jin Park, Kyungman Cha, Byung Hak So, Hyung Min Kim, Won Jung Jeoung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2018;16(2):68-74.   Published online December 31, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2018.16.2.68
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Purpose: In 2012, a revised guideline for acute acetaminophen overdose was proposed in the UK, recommending that the treatment threshold should be lowered to 100 mcg/ml at 4 hours after ingestion without risk stratification of hepatotoxicity. However, the poison centers in some developing countries do not have laboratory resources to provide serum drug levels in time. The primary aim of the study is to evaluate the cut-off value of reported dose per kilogram to determine when N-acetylcysteine treatment is warranted under the revised guideline. Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from the toxicology registry of an urban emergency medical center between 1st January 2010 and 30th June 2017. Inclusion criteria were single acute overdose of more than 75 mg/kg in 15 hours from ingestion and over 14 years of age. Subgroups were created by 25 mg/kg increments of reported dose, then sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were calculated for the cut-off values of 100 mg/kg, 125 mg/kg, 150 mg/kg and 175 mg/kg for toxic serum level over '100-treatment line'. Results: A total of 99 patients were enrolled in the study; 24 patients showed toxic serum levels (24.2%). Zero of 17 patients with an ingestion dose under 100 mg/kg showed toxic level (0%), and 0 of 15 under 125 mg/kg (0%), 2 of 14 under 150 mg/kg (14.3%), and 4 of 12 under 175 mg/kg (33.3%) had toxic levels. The higher the ingested dose per kilogram of weight, the higher the frequency of the toxic serum concentration on the first test (${chi}^2$ test for trend, ${chi}^2=22.66$, p-value<0.001) and the sensitivity of each value was 100%, 100%, 92% and 76%. Conclusion: In acute single acetaminophen intoxication, the ingestion dose of 100 mg/kg of weight will be useful in determining the need for the N-acetylcysteine antidote in the indigent laboratory environment.
A Case Report of Cardiac Arrest Following Intentional Ingestion of Liquid Nicotine for Electronic Cigarette
Jung Ho Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2018;16(2):172-175.   Published online December 31, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2018.16.2.172
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Acute nicotine poisoning by liquid nicotine for electronic cigarettes is becoming an increasing problem worldwide. On the other hand, there are no regulations regarding its concentration, container or labelling in Korea. This is the first case of a cardiac arrest after liquid nicotine ingestion that was confirmed by plasma nicotine detection in Korea. A 34-year-old male was found with a cardiac arrest at home by the emergency medical services crew, and had a return of spontaneous circulation after 27 minutes of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. The cause of his cardiac arrest was suspected to be acute nicotine poisoning by the ingestion of liquid nicotine. Toxicology analysis of the National Forensic Service confirmed plasma nicotine, and the pharmacokinetic estimated average concentration of plasma nicotine at the time of the cardiac arrest was 29.7 mg/L, a lethal dose. He was hospitalized for further treatment, but was discharged after 20 days without any improvement. Considering the strong toxicity of nicotine, appropriate policy decisions are required for sales and distribution.
Implementing Best Practice in Critically Ill Organophosphate Poisoned Patient Through Simulation-Based Learning Program
Ji Hwan Lee, Sung Phil Chung, Hyun Soo Chung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2017;15(1):31-39.   Published online June 30, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2017.15.1.31
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: Despite the clinical and socio-economic impact of acute poisoned patients, many of the treatments are not standardized in Korea. Moreover, no formal training that is specifically focused on clinical toxicology exists. Rather, training and education are conducted case by case in various institutions. This study was conducted to develop a standardized simulation-based clinical toxicology training curriculum for healthcare providers. This program will focus on specific assessment and treatment of critical toxicology patients, specifically those who have been poisoned with organophosphate. Methods: The study was performed using a pre- and post-design to determine the effects of implementation of this program. The study was conducted at eight different urban teaching hospitals in a simulated room in the clinical area. The study was targeted to 19 groups composed of emergency residents and nurses. Simulation-based learning was conducted for each group. Results: All 19 groups achieved the minimum passing score of 75%. Implementation of the program led to improved performance rates for overall management and cooperative moods competency (p<0.01). Inter-rater agreement between the two evaluators was excellent. In general, the participants thought the program was realistic and were able to recognize and improve the competencies needed to care for organophosphate poisoned patients. Conclusion: Simulation-based learning is an effective educational strategy that can be applied to improving and understanding proper care for rare but critical patients. This program was effective at improving team performance and cooperative moods when managing an organophosphate poisoned patient in the Emergency Department.
The Incidence, Associated Factors and Clinical Impact of Hyperamylasemia in Self-poisoning Patients
Min Gu Seo, Sang Hoon Oh, Jee Yong Lim, Han Joon Kim, Se Min Choi
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2016;14(2):83-91.   Published online December 31, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22537/jksct.2016.14.2.83
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Purpose: This study was conducted to investigate the incidence, associated factors and clinical impact of hyperamylasemia in self-poisoning patients. Methods: This study was based on a toxicology case registry of patients treated from 2009 to 2013 at a tertiary care university hospital. We retrospectively investigated the demographics, clinical variables, laboratory variables and intoxicants. Hyperamylasemia was defined as an elevation in serum amylase level to above the upper normal limit within 24 hours after admission. We analyzed the predisposing factors and clinical outcomes of patients in the hyperamylasemia group. Results: Hyperamylasemia was identified in 49 (13.3%) of the 369 patients. Using multivariate logistic regression, the odds ratios for HA were 3.384 (95% confidence interval, 1.142-8.013, p=0.014), 3.261 (95% confidence interval, 1.163-9.143, p=0.025) and 0.351 (95% confidence interval, 0.154-0.802, p=0.013) for pesticides, multi-drug use and sedatives, respectively. In the hyperamylasemia group, the peak amylase levels during 72 hours were correlated with the peak lipase levels (r=0.469, p=0.002) and peak aspartate aminotransferase levels (r=0.352, p=0.013). Finally, none of these patients had confirmed acute pancreatitis. Conclusion: Hyperamylasemia occurred rarely in these self-poisoning patients, and pesticide and multi-drug use were independent predictors of hyperamylasemia. Peak amylase levels were correlated with the peak lipase and aspartate aminotransferase levels.
Comparison of Clinical Characteristics and Prognosis by Initial Endoscopic Severity in Caustic Injury
Sang Min Lee, Woo Ik Choi, Sung Jin Kim, Sang Chan Jin
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2015;13(2):87-94.   Published online December 31, 2015
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Purpose: We investigated comparison of clinical characteristics and prognosis by initial endoscopic severity in caustic injury and then discussed predisposing factors which can be helpful in predicting the prognosis and determining the treatment. Methods: This study was a retrospective review of medical records from patients over the age of 15, who underwent initial endoscopy for caustic injury from April 2007 through November 2014. Patients were classified according to two groups based on the initial endoscopic finding by Zargar's classification: patients with grade 0, I, IIa at esophagus (low risk group) and patients with grade IIb, IIIa, IIIb at esophagus (high risk group). The two groups were then compared. Results: A total of 55 patients were included (low risk group [n=44] vs. high risk group [n=11]). Old age (p<0.001), large amount of ingestion (p<0.05), oropharyngeal symptoms (p<0.01), high SOFA score (p<0.001), high WBC count (p<0.05), low base excess (p<0.01), and HCO3 (p<0.05) were statistically significant factors in the high risk group. A poor prognosis was observed for hospital stay (p<0.001), ICU admission (p<0.001), mortality (p<0.01), and stricture (p<0.001) in the high risk group. Conclusion: Clinical characteristics including age, amount of ingestion, oropharyngeal symptoms, SOFA score, WBC count, base excess, and $HCO_3$ can be helpful in the decision to undergo initial endoscopy and risk assessment by initial endoscopic severity can be helpful in predicting prognosis and determining the treatment plan.
Genotoxicity of low-dose Glyphosate by Sister Chromatid Exchange
Sang Hoon Lee, Sung Jin Kim, Woo Ik Choi, Sang Chan Jin, In Jang Choi, Jae Ho Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2014;12(1):8-13.   Published online June 30, 2014
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose: Glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl glycine) is widely used as an herbicide for weed control in rural areas. It is also readily available for suicide attempts. Glyphosate has high toxicity and negatively affects the human body. The aim of this investigation was to study the genotoxicity of a low-concentration of glyphosate through sister chromatid exchange (SCE) in human blood lymphocytes in vitro. Methods: Primary lymphocyte cultures were obtained from blood samples of 11 males and seven females who had been exposed to glyphosate (0, 100, 200, and 300 ng/mL). The frequency of SCEs was examined and statistical analysis was performed. Results: All doses of glyphosate induced a significant dose-dependent increase in SCE frequency compared with the control group (P<0.001). In particular, the SCE frequency for exposure to low-dose glyphosate was significantly higher in females than in males. Conclusion: According to the result of this study, even a low-dose of glyphosate may damage DNA and females are more vulnerable to glyphosate.
Bibliometric Analysis of the Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology
Jin Hyuck Lee, Tae Ho Lim, Won Hee Kim, Chang Sun Kim, Jae Hoon Oh, Hyung Goo Kang, Hyuk Joong Choi, Bo Seung Kang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2013;11(2):96-100.   Published online December 31, 2013
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the research characteristics and the trend of the Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology by bibliometric analysis. Methods: This study was a retrospective quantitative literature review of the publications. We collected data from the internet homepage of the Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology. Among 228 publications, a total of 225 articles were included in this analysis. The data were analyzed from different perspectives, including article types, study design, number of authors, type of toxic material, and the top five ranking prolific authors and the affiliated organization were identified. Results: A total of 225 articles were analyzed; 98(43.6%) were original articles, 115(51.1%) were case reports, and 12(5.3%) were reviews. Among the original articles, nine were prospective studies and 89 were retrospective studies, which were assorted according to study design; there were two(2.0%) cross sectional studies, 93(94.9%) cohort studies, and three(3.1%) etc. The median number of authors per article was five and the top five ranking authors and affiliated organizations published 31.1% and 32.8% of total articles, respectively. The most abundant topic was pesticides, followed by natural poisons and poisons encountered in the work place. Conclusion: Since its foundation, the Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology has published 19 issues and 228 articles and has played a key role in development of toxicology research in Korea. However, low ratio of original articles and a decrease in the number of recent articles indicates that greater effort is needed in clinical research. In addition, further interest of many experts and various institutions is necessary.
Proper Understanding and Application of Gastric Lavage
Bum Jin Oh, Hyung-Keun Roh
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2013;11(1):1-8.   Published online June 30, 2013
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Gastric lavage is one of gastrointestinal decontamination methods which have been controversial in the clinical toxicology field for a long time. Expert groups of American and European clinical toxicologists have published the position papers regarding gastric lavage three times since 1997. They recommended that gastric lavage should not be used as a routine procedure in the management of acute intoxication, because they thought that there is no certain evidence of improving clinical outcome by its use. However, the studies they reviewed were not well-controlled randomized trials, which cannot be conducted in the clinical toxicology field due to variability of patients and ethical problems. Therefore, the results from these studies should be interpreted with caution. They also insisted that gastric lavage can be undertaken within 60 minutes of ingestion. The limitation of one hour after ingestion is too arbitrary and may cause a lot of misunderstanding. Formation of pharmacobezoar or gastric hypomotility after ingestion may significantly delay the gastric emptying time so that gastric lavage can be useful even after several hours or more in case of highly toxic substances or severe intoxication. Furthermore, as there are a number of serious intoxication by toxic pesticides with large amount in suicidal attempts in Korea, it seems that gastric lavage may be used more frequently in Korea than in Western countries. When deciding whether or not to use gastric lavage, all the indications, contraindications, and possible adverse effects should be taken into account on the basis of risk-benefit analysis. If the procedure is decided to be done, it should only be performed by well-trained experts.
Multicenter Survey of Intoxication Cases in Korean Emergency Departments: 2nd Annual Report, 2009
Ae-Jin Sung, Kyung-Woo Lee, Byung-Hak So, Mi-Jin Lee, Hyun Kim, Kyung-Hye Park, Jeong-Bae Park, Seok-Ran Yeom, Seong-Beom Oh, Ji-Young You, Kyung-Won Lee, Byeong-Jo Chun, Young-Joon Kang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(1):22-32.   Published online June 30, 2012
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the occurrence of toxic exposure cases in Korean emergency centers using a toxic exposure surveillance system-based report form and to provide guidelines for the prevention and treatment of toxic exposures. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of toxic exposure patients who had visited emergency centers from January 2009 to December 2009. Epidemiology data points for the toxic exposure cases included age, gender, type of exposure, number and kind of substances involved, reason and route of poison exposure, management of the patients in the emergency departments, and the clinical outcome. Results: A total of 3,501 patients from 12 emergency departments were enrolled in the study. 50.0% of the total exposure patients were male and 63.0% of the total cases were fatal. Acute intoxication occurred in 91.3% of the total patients and suicidal intent was the most common (43.3%) reason for exposure. The most common route of exposure was ingestion (75.9%). Of the total cases, pesticides were involved in 26.3%, sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics were involved in 22.0%, and bites and envenomations were involved in 15.7%. Conclusion: We provided a database of patients who were admitted to emergency departments after poisoning incidents. We recommend that toxicology professionals develop a classification scheme for toxicants which is adequate for Korean domestic circumstances and initiate a toxic surveillance system for all types of exposures. With support of a psychiatric surveillance system for suicidal patients and establishment of social mediation for pesticide poisoning, major reductions in poison exposures can be achieved.
2008 Database of Korean Toxic Exposures: A Preliminary Study
Byung-Hak So, Mi-Jin Lee, Hyun Kim, Jeong-Mi Moon, Kyung-Hye Park, Ae-Jin Sung, Seok-Ran Yeom, Seong-Beom Oh, Ji-Young You, Kyung-Woo Lee, Kyung-Won Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2010;8(2):51-60.   Published online December 31, 2010
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate toxic exposures in emergency centers with using a toxic exposure surveillance system-based report form as a preliminary study. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of toxic exposure patients who visited emergency centers from January to December 2008. Results: 3,157 patients from 11 emergency centers were enrolled. Males were involved in 47.9% of the total cases of exposure and in 60.1% of the cases of fatal exposure. Suicidal intent was the most common (61.0%) reason and most (87.4%) fatal exposures were suicidal. Pesticides were involved in 30.7% of the cases and sedative/hypnotics/antipsychotics were involved in 20.5%. The substances most frequently involved in fatalities were pesticides, and a 48.4% fatality rate was recorded for paraquat exposure. Conclusion: The toxic exposure data showed the preliminary poisoning events in emergency centers. It is recommended that toxicology professionals should develop a toxic surveillance system and serial reporting should be performed.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology