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Am J Emerg Med. 2012 Feb;30(2):293-301. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2010.11.031. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

ED visits for drug-related poisoning in the United States, 2007.

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  • 1Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fatal drug-related poisoning has been well described. However, death data only show the tip of the iceberg of drug-related poisoning as a public health problem. Using the 2007 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, this study described the characteristics of emergency department visits for drug-related poisoning in the United States.

METHODS:

Any ED visit that had an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis code of 960-979 was defined as a drug-related poisoning case. Intentionality of poisoning was determined by E-codes. Weighted estimates of ED visits were calculated by patient and hospital characteristics, intentionality of poisoning, and selected drug classes. Population rates by sex, age, urban/rural classification, median household income in patient's zip code, and hospital region were calculated.

RESULTS:

An estimated 699 123 (95% confidence interval, 666 529-731 717) ED visits for drug-related poisoning occurred in 2007. Children 0 to 5 years old had the highest rate for unintentional poisoning (male, 237 per 100 000; female, 218 per 100 000). The rate of drug-related poisoning in rural areas (684 per 100 000) was 3 times higher than the rates in other areas. Psychotropic agents and analgesics were responsible for 43.7% of all drug-related poisoning. Women 18 to 20 years old had the highest ED visit rate for suicidal poisoning (245 per 100 000). The estimated ED charges were $1 394 051 262, and 41.1% were paid by Medicaid and Medicare.

CONCLUSION:

Antidepressants and analgesics were responsible for nearly 44% of ED visits for drug-related poisoning in the United States. Interventions and future research should target prescription opioids, rural areas, children 0 to 5 years old for unintentional drug-related poisoning, and female ages 12 to 24 years for suicidal drug-related poisoning.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21367556
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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