Background: Poisoning is a significant global public health problem which leads to nearly a million deaths each year. Incidence of poisoning in India is among the highest in the world. Despite the vast number, evidence on prevalence pattern in India is yet limited. Objective: The present study aimed to characterise acute poisoning cases with respect to the demographics, effect due to time lag and treatment outcomes. Methods: The cross sectional retrospective study was conducted from January 2013 to December 2015 in government and private teaching hospitals. Results: Of all reviewed cases male over female predominance was observed. Maximum poisoning was observed in the age group 20-35 years with an increased incidence of female cases in age category 13-19 years. Household and agricultural agents (56.4%) were associated with most poisoning. Intentional poisoning was more common (53.3%) and predominant in age category 20-35 years. Maximal exposure was observed between 6 pm – 12 am. Maximum patients (77.6%) responded to the therapy given while 12.6% absconded, took discharge against medical advice or were referred to another hospital. The mortality rate was 9.6 % with male predominance. Conclusion: The study concludes that the burden of poisoning demands strategies for prevention, identification and rational management providing optimal treatment outcomes.
Key words: Poisoning pattern, Acute poisoning, Time lag, Treatment outcomes, Mortality.