05 January 2021
antipsychotics, COVID-19, drug poisoning, lockdown, pesticides, CNS, Central Nervous System, COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019, GCS, Glasgow Coma Scale, ICU, intensive care unit, SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2, TPCC, Tanta Poison Control Center, WHO, World Health Organization
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic influences health care facilities world-wide. The flow rate, type, and severity of cases presented to emergency departments varied during the pandemic in comparison to the past years. However, this change has not been well-described among the cases of hospital admission due to toxic exposure.
Recognition of the pattern of toxic exposure among the cases refereed to Tanta Poison Control Center (TPCC; Tanta, Egypt) during the past five years, and furthermore, exploration of the impact of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the pattern of presented cases.
The current study is a five-year retrospective, comparative cross-sectional study carried out among acutely intoxicated patients admitted to TPCC during the spring months (March through May) of 2016-2020. A total of 1,916 patients with complete medical records were recruited. The type and manner of toxic exposure, demographic, clinical data, and outcomes were analyzed.
The current study noted that there were delays in time from toxic exposure to emergency services during the lockdown period. This was reflected in significant lower recovery rates (884.8/1,000 population; z = −3.0) and higher death rates (49.4/1,000 population; z = 2.1) despite the marked decrease in the total number of hospital admissions in comparison to the past four years. The lockdown period showed significantly higher phosphides (z = 3.5; χ 2 = 34.295; P <.001) and antipsychotics exposure (z = 3.6; χ 2 = 21.494; P <.001) than the previous years. However, predominance of female exposure and intentional self-poisoning was maintained over the past five years, including the lockdown.