Evaluation of Severity of Poisoning Exposures among Patients Presented to Poison Control Center, Ain Shams University Hospitals, Egypt during 2019

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine-Ain Shams University, Cairo Egypt.


Background: Poisoning exposure continues to be an important public health concern in many developing countries and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Egypt. The information released by the Poison Control Center of Ain Shams University Hospitals (PCC-ASUH) is mostly a trigger for increasing hazards challenging the community. Aim: To evaluate severity of poisoning exposures among patients presented to PCC-ASUH during year 2019. Methods: A retrospective study involved patients presented to the PCC-ASUH with history of poisoning during 2019. Results: This study included 21,492 patients. The majority of poisoning incidents were at the age group of 15 – 25 years (34%) and females outnumbered males (54.8% versus 45.2%). Route of poisoning was mostly oral (89.1%). Most poison exposures were suicidal (51.5%). Drug poisoning constituted the majority of cases (59.5%). Centrally acting drugs were the commonest drugs (18%) and household chemicals were the commonly used poisons (13.4%). Poisoning severity score was mild in 79.4% of cases, moderate in 14.4% and severe in 6.2% of cases. Mortality rate was 0.66%. Higher PSS was associated with prolonged hospital stay and death. Conclusion: Poisoning is more common in young and middle-aged people. Ingestion was the main route of poisoning and suicidal poisoning predominated. Corrosives and detergents were the most commonly involved toxic substances while centrally acting drugs topped the list of drug poisoning. Higher PSS was associated with prolonged hospital stay and death. Recommendations: Poisoning severity score is a simple tool for better poisoning assessment. Strict regulations are needed to control medication marketing.