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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 34(3); 2023 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2023;34(3): 200-208.
코로나-19가 응급실에 내원하는 중독환자의 특성에 미치는 영향: 단일 삼차 대학병원에서의 후향적 연구
심문기 , 김혁훈 , 민영기 , 안정환
아주대학교병원 응급의학과
Changes in characteristics of drug intoxication after COVID-19 pandemics: a retrospective study in a tertiary university-affiliated hospital
Moon-Ki Moon-Ki , Hyuk-Hoon Kim , Young-Gi Min , Jung-Hwan Ahn
Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University Medical Center, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
Correspondence  Hyuk-Hoon Kim ,Tel: 031-219-7754, Fax: 031-216-7760, Email: hyukhoon82@gmail.com,
Received: August 30, 2022; Revised: September 21, 2022   Accepted: September 28, 2022.  Published online: June 30, 2023.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus has adversely affected people in socioeconomic fields as well as mental health, thereby increasing suicidal attempts. This study analyzes the altered characteristics of drug-poisoned patients visiting the emergency department (ED) during the COVID-19 pandemic era in South Korea.
This was a retrospective observational study using medical records of adults who visited the ED for intoxication. Data obtained were compared before and after the COVID-19 pandemic era.
In all, data from 1,102 drug-poisoned patients (586/516 during the pre-/post-COVID-19 periods, respectively) were included in the study. Despite a decrease in total ED visits, the pandemic period saw an increase in the proportion of poisoned patients visiting the ED. Young, female, and psychiatric patients accounted for a significant portion. Months, holidays, time zones, and urbanization showed no difference in the incidence of intoxication. Financial difficulty and couple and family troubles were determined to be frequent causes of intoxication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparing the drugs intoxicated, pesticide ingestion was decreased, while the ingestion of other less-fatal drugs was comparatively increased. Although there was an increase in the admission rate of poisoned patients, the severity during admission and outcomes at discharge were not worse after the COVID-19 pandemic era.
The COVID-19 crisis has seriously impacted people, especially female, young-aged, and psychiatric patients.
Key words: COVID-19; Poisoning; Mental health; Suicide
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