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The pattern of poisoning and the substances used commonly as poisons varies from region to region. Knowledge about the trends in poisoning in a particular region will help in identifying the preventive strategies and reduce the associated morbidity and mortality. This study was conducted to describe the frequency, distribution, substances involved in poisoning exposures and their subsequent outcomes in a south indian tertiary care centre. A retrospective study was conducted for three months, from August 2013 to November 2013 in the Intensive medical care unit and paediatric intensive care unit of the tertiary care centre. Details of the age, sex, substances used as poisons and their sources and their subsequent outcomes were collected from the hospital records and analysed. Out of the 2910 admissions in the emergency department, 460 (15) admissions were due to acute poisoning. Mean age of the total poisoning exposures was 26.5 years. Majority of poisoning exposures (23.04) occurred in the 20-24 yrs age group. Children less than 10 years contributed to7.17 of the total poisoning cases. Males (232 cases 50.4) outnumbered the females (195 cases 42.8) in consuming poison. Among the 460   poisoning exposures, 410 (89) exposures were intentional and 50 exposures (11) were accidental. The commonest poisoning agent was pesticides (131 cases 28.47) followed by tablets (127 cases 27.60) and household agents (96 cases 20.86) . Poisons which had a higher mortality rate were oleander poison (25), pesticides (organo phosphorous compound, rat killer paraquat) (2.80) and tablet poisoning (1.57). In children common   household agents like fabric whiteners (13 cases 39) and  kerosene (11 cases 33) were common. Possible preventive strategies include targeted ban on lethal pesticides and stringent regulations regarding availability and packing of these house hold agents .





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