Background: Research on poisoning epidemiology in different regions is highly important for evidence-informed health planning. The present study was conducted with the aim of evaluating the two-year epidemiologic pattern of acute poisoning cases treated at Adama Hospital Medical College (AHMC) in Adama, Ethiopia.
Methods: In this retrospective descriptive study, medical records of emergency department patients with diagnosis of acute poisoning from the beginning of April 2013 to the beginning of April 2015 were reviewed.
Result: Data of 292 patients with acute poisoning were retrieved, of which 50.3% were women. The majority of the patients (83.6%) were below 30 years of age. There most common affected patients were in the 21-30 year age-group (39.5%). The highest number of patients were farmers (18.8%) followed closely by unemployed individuals (18.2%). Considering the location of residence, the majority of the patients lived in rural areas (68.8%). Organophosphates were the most commonly used toxic agents (52.1%), followed by household cleaning products (12.7%) and alcohols (10.3%). Four patients died (case fatality rate = 1.37 %) and all of them were due to complications of OP poisoning. Data analyses showed significant correlations between age-groups and intention of poisoning (P < 0.001), poison types and patients’ gender (P = 0.011), and poison types and place of residence (P = 0.010).
Conclusion: In Adama, poisonings are more common in rural residents and young adults, and organophosphates are the leading cause of poisoning. These findings warrant social empowerment actions as well as educational programs on poisonings and their outcomes, which should be especially targeted on this stratum of the society (young adult rural residents).