Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2013 , Vol 16, Issue 3
Celal KATI1, Akan KARAKUS2, Mehmet ALTUNTAŞ1, Latif DURAN1, Fatih İLKAYA3, Coşkun KAYA4, Hasan ALAÇAM5, Yücel YAVUZ1
1Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Acil Tıp Anabilim Dalı SAMSUN
2Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Tıp Eğitimi Anabilim Dalı SAMSUN
3Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Farmakoloji Anabilim Dalı SAMSUN
4Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi İç Hastalıkları Nefroloji Bilim Dalı SAMSUN
5Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Biyokimya Anabilim Dalı SAMSUN
Introduction: The elderly population is rapidly growing in Turkey and in the world. The aim of our study is to investigate the features of acute poisonings which is a major health problem among the elderly.

Materials and Method: Medical files of patients aged 65 years and over admitted to the emergency department of a university hospital for acute poisonings between January 2005 and December 2011 were reviewed. The demographic characteristics of patients, causes and origins of poisonings were evaluated retrospectively.

Results: Among 3106 patients who presented with acute poisoning, 126 (4.06%) were geriatric cases. The mean age of the patients was 73.36 ± 6.38. Sixty seven (53.2%) were male and 59 (46.8%) female. The most common causes of acute poisonings were as follows; 68 (54%) drug intoxication, 34 (27%) carbon monoxide and 16 (12.7%) pesticide poisoning. The origins of poisonings were as follows; 105 (83.3%) accidental, 16 (12.7%) suicidal. Fifty seven (45.2%) accidental poisonings occurred due to use of prescription drugs. The risk of suicidal death by using pesticides was significantly higher than the other causes (OR =4.09, p= 0.03).

Conclusion: Based on the results of the present study, it is concluded that inappropriate prescription drug use is the most common cause of poisonings in geriatric patients. We believe that public health programs for preventing drug poisonings among geriatric patients are necessary. For prevention of carbon monoxide and pesticide poisonings, security measures must be established in the living areas. Keywords : Geriatrics; Toxicology; Emergency Medical Services; Hospitals