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Acute organophosphate poisoning in university hospital emergency room patients.

OBJECTS: In the present study, we evaluated patients who were admitted to our emergency department with a diagnosis of organophosphate poisoning and discussed clinical, social and demographic features.

METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted with organophosphate poisoning patients admitted to our emergency department between January 1995 and December 2004. Data regarding the age, sex, occupation, type of agent, route of poisoning, clinical effects of cholinergic overactivity, laboratory findings, and mortality rate were obtained from the patient files.

RESULTS: During the study period, 220 patients who had organophosphate poisoning with a known agent were admitted to the ED. The estimated mean admission time to the ED after the exposure was 3.9 +/- 3.1 (1-14) hours. There were 131 (59.5%) female and 89 (40.5%) male patients. The most affected age group was 15-24 years (40.5%), in both sexes. Oral ingestion (86.5%) was found to be the most common route of poisoning. The most frequent reason for poisoning was attempted suicide (75.9%). The most common organophosphate compounds exposed were dichlorvos, diazinon and parathion-methyl. The most frequent clinical signs were miosis, respiratory system findings, tachycardia, loss of consciousness, and hypertension. Twenty patients (9.1%) died due to sudden respiratory and cardiac arrest (45%), respiratory failure (25%), CNS depression (5%) and septic shock (25%).

CONCLUSION: We think that the appropriate use of these compounds, instruction of the public about their harmful effects and restriction of their uncontrolled sales by legal regulations can reduce the incidence of organophosphate poisoning.

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