Poisonings constitute a significant medical, social and economic problem worldwide. In Poland there is no nationwide registry of poisonings, which results in a lack of accurate epidemiological data. Few publications dealing with the problem are based on data obtained from toxicology units and therefore do not include information about cases treated at emergency departments and other non-toxicology units. In this study, the authors analysed all admissions due to poisonings reported to the Polish National Health Fund by all hospital units in Poland in the 2009-2011 period. Diagnoses were encoded according to the ICD-10 classification. A total of 254,425 admissions were reported, 85,398 in 2009, 85,230 in 2010 and 83,797 in 2011. The male to female ratios were 1.88, 1.75 and 1.80 respectively. The most frequent causes of admissions were poisonings with ethanol (n?=?121,874; 47.9%), carbon monoxide (n?=?17,179; 6.8%) and benzodiazepines (n?=?10,340; 4.1%). Alcohols were the reason for 104,680 admissions in men (63.2%) and 22,612 admissions in women (25.5%; p?0.01). Poisonings with pharmaceuticals and other drugs were reported in 34,616 men (20.9%) and 45,238 women (51%; p?0.01). There were 1680 cases of fatal poisonings in the analysed period. The hospital mortality due to poisonings increased from 1.1% in 2009 to 1.5% in 2011 (p?0.01). The mortality in general Intensive Care Units increased from 14.4% in 2009 to 22.3% in 2011 (p?0.01). The aetiology of fatal poisonings was highly dependent on the type of hospital unit. The overall number of admissions due to poisonings decreased slightly during the study period, but they remained a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Alcohols were the main cause of admissions in the analysed period. Alcohol intoxications were more frequent in men while poisonings with pharmaceuticals were more frequent in women. Carbon monoxide exposures were a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the studied period in Poland. A national poison information and toxicovigilance system should be created in Poland, ideally allowing for near real-time monitoring of cases of poisonings.
Authors: ?widerska A, Wi?niewski M, Wiergowski M, Krakowiak A, Sein Anand J. ; Full Source: BMC Pharmacology & Toxicology. 2018 Oct 10;19(1):62. doi: 10.1186/s40360-018-0254-x.