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Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2012;24(4):373-7. doi: 10.1515/ijamh.2012.054.

Deliberate self-poisoning: a study from Nablus.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Poison Contol and Drug Information Center, School of Pharmacy, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestinian Authority.



Arab Palestinians have experienced intense political, domestic and economic stressful conditions, which can increase the risk of self-harm. No previous studies haves been published to describe the patterns and rates of deliberate self-harm, particularly self-poisoning, in the Palestinian Authority. The objective of this study was to investigate deliberate self-poisoning in the Palestinian Authority.


All patients admitted to the emergency department of Al-Watani Governmental Hospital from May 2008 to April 2009 and identified as deliberate self-poisoning were investigated. The demographic and clinical data of the subjects were analyzed using SPSS16.


A total of 54 individuals were identified. The mean age of these patients was 23.8±7.9 years and less than one-third (16; 29.6%) were under 18 years of age. The majority of the patients were female (35; 64.8%). Two-thirds (37; 68.5%) of the patients were Nablus city residents. An overdose of pharmaceutical products (39; 72.2%) was the most common method of self-poisoning. Significant associations were found between the type of material used in self-poisoning and place of residence (p=0.008) as well as gender (p=0.021). Gastric lavage was performed for 23 (42.6%) individuals, while only four (7.4%) received activated charcoal, and six (11.1%) had both.


Rates of deliberate self-poisoning in the Palestinian Authority are lower than those reported from developed countries, but higher than that reported from other Arab countries. Regulations regarding the sale and storage of poisonous agricultural chemicals are needed in the Palestinian Authority.

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