Pattern of deliberate self-poisoning cases admitted to Poison Control Center Ain Shams University Hospitals during the years 2015-2016

Document Type : Original Article


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


Suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Deliberate self-poisoning (DSP), is the most common method of attempted suicide and accounts for the majority of suicide-related hospital admissions. The incidence in Egypt tends to be under-estimated.
Aim: Evaluating the pattern of deliberate self-poisoning cases who were admitted to Poison Control Center Ain Shams University Hospitals (PCC-ASUH) from January 2015 to December 2016.
Method: An observational study was conducted including all patients deliberately self-poisoned throughout the study period .Recorded data in the present study included: age, gender, and residence, type of causative agent, severity of poisoning, and mortality.
Results: A total of 10035 and 10758 self-poisoned patients were received in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Results remained similar in both years of the study. Cases were predominantly in the age group between 19 and 30 years, females 69% and were received from Cairo. Used substances were mainly drugs: centrally-acting drugs ranked first including Tricyclic antidepressants TCA, Benzodiazepines (BZD), antipsychotics and carbamazepine followed by analgesics and cardiopulmonary drugs. Among non-drug agents, organophosphorus insecticides were the most common .Lower number of cases used phosphides, corrosives and detergents, petroleum distillates, phenol and paraphenylenediamine (PPD). The majority of cases were mild (>70%) in both years of the study. Severe cases constituted 6.8% of DSP cases, with overall in-hospital mortality 0.6%. Organophosphorus insecticides topped the agents responsible for mortality followed by unknown drugs with small contributions by other drug and non-drug agents.
Conclusion: Deliberate self-poisoning is a common presentation to PCC-ASUH .General trends show significant predominance of adolescents and young adults especially females, usage of drugs mainly centrally-acting agents, and low case fatality which is mainly in relation to organophosphorus compounds