Objective: To determine the trends of acute poisoning in terms of frequency, nature of poisoning agent, clinical presentation and its outcome. Methods: The retrospective study was conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and comprised data of patients who presented with poisoning between January 1989 and December 2010.The patients were randomly selected , and demographic, chemical information, clinical feature, treatment and outcome were analysed using SPSS 16. Results: Of the total hospital admissions during the period, 3,189(0.3%) were cases of poisoning. Of them, medical records of 705(22%) cases were reviewed; 462(65.5%) adult and 243(34.5%) paediatric cases below 16 years of age. The overall median age was 21 years (interquartile range: 4-32 years)Moreover, 544(87%) were critical at the time of presentation. In 647(92%) cases, the poisoning occurred at home. Psychiatric drugs were found involved in 205(29%) cases, followed by prescription drugs 172(24.4%), pesticides 108(15.3%), hydrocarbons 71(10%), analgesics 59(8.7%), household toxins 59(8.7%), alcohol and drug abuse 21(2.97%) and others 47(6.67%). Conclusion: Poisoning was a serious cause of morbidity in children and young adults. Medications were the leading cause and home was the most common place of incident.
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