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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 443-448

Clinical and demographic characteristics of geriatric patients with acute poisoning in the state of Uttarakhand

Department of Emergency Medicine, AIIMS Rishikesh Campus, Uttrakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bharat Bhushan
Department of Emergency Medicine, AIIMS, Rishikesh Campus, Uttrakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_420_18

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Background: Acute poisoning in geriatric age group is a clinical challenge due to multiple comorbidities and complications in this age group. There are very few studies done in the past, which have addressed this issue. Materials and Methods: This retrospective observational study was a carried out in the Department of Emergency Medicine of a tertiary care hospital of Uttarakhand over a period of 1 year from November 2017 to October 2018. Detailed demographic data and clinical history of patients with alleged history of acute poisoning was obtained from the hospital record section. Results: During the period of 1 year, 156 patients of acute poisoning attended the medical emergency department, of which 53 (33.9%) patients belonged to geriatric age group (>60 years). Maximum number of patients belonged to the age group of 71–80 years (n = 26, 16.6%). Males outnumbered female patients. The most common toxidrome in geriatric age group was alcohol intoxication followed by pesticide (organophosphorus) poisoning. Unintentional exposure of toxin in the form of drug over dosage encompassed more than one-third of poisonings in geriatric population. Nine (16.9%) geriatric patients succumbed to poisoning. Complications such as acute renal failure, shock, respiratory distress, acute liver injury, and need for ventilator support were more common in nonsurvivors as compared with survivors. Conclusion: The study demonstrated mortality of 16.9% (n = 9) among geriatric patients with alleged history of acute poisoning. The risk factors attributing to mortality were shock, aspiration pneumonia, and acute liver injury. Although cases of suicidal exposure outnumbered cases of unintentional exposure, the latter group comprised of a considerable number. Clearly, more attention is needed while managing a case of acute poisoning of geriatric age group as their pattern of presentation and complications differ from that of younger age group.

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