Characteristics of emergency poisoning cases in elderly versus younger patients

August Supervía Caparrós, Oriol Pallàs Villaronga, Carlos Clemente Rodríguez, María Dolores Aranda Cárdenas, María Pi-Figueras Valls, Isabel Cirera Lorenzo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2017, Saned. All rights reserved. Objective. To compare cases of poisoning according to age to detect differences in frequency of visits to the emergency department, patient characteristics, case management, and immediate outcome in terms of related mortality. Method. Descriptive study of a retrospective series of patients who visited a university hospital emergency department for treatment of poisoning between 2009 and 2014. We collected patient characteristics and data related to the event, case management, and poisoning-related death. Patients were grouped according to age (cut-off 65 y). Results. Of a total of 3847 poisoning episodes, 341 (8.9%) were in patients aged 65 years or older. The percentage of women among these older patients (61.3%) was greater than among younger patients (36.3%; P<.001). Poisoning was accidental in older patients more often than younger ones (64.4% vs 9.5%, respectively; P<.001), occurred more often in the home (82.1% vs 37%, P<.001), and more often required active treatment (73.3% vs 57.4%; P<.001) and admission to hospital (21.4% vs 7.3%, P<.001). The related mortality rate was also higher in the older patients (2.1% vs 0.1% in younger patients, P<.001). Conclusions. The percentage of poisonings in patients aged 65 years or older is not negligible. Poisoning in patients of advanced age tends to be accidental and take place in the home. Older patients more often require active treatment and hospital admission; poisoning-related death is more common in older patients than younger ones.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)335-338
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


    • Advanced age
    • Drug abuse
    • Emergency health services
    • Medications
    • Poisoning


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