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Hospital costs of managing deliberate self-poisoning in Turkey

Mustafa Serinken, Ozgur Karcioglu, Cem Sengul, Ibrahim Turkcuer, Mustafa Kemal Keysan

Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(3): CR152-158

ID: 836581

Background: Most published data on the characteristics and direct hospital costs of deliberate self-poisoning (DSP) were collected from developed countries. This study was conducted to investigate hospital costs of DSP cases and relevant factors in a university-based emergency department (ED) in Turkey.
Material and Method: All patients referred to the ED due to DSP in the one-year period between October 1, 2005, and September 30, 2006, were investigated prospectively. Clinical and demographic features were analyzed.
Results: The female-to-male ratio was 6.3 (189/30). Mean age of the patients was 24.5+/-5.7 years. Medical drugs comprised 93.6% (n=205) of the substances ingested in admissions due to DSP. The mean cost of patients with DSP was calculated to be $144.06+/-90.83. Treatment costs constituted 36.2% of the total figure ($52.27). Total costs showed statistically significant differences with respect to sex, type of intoxicants, and location of treatment. Venipuncture, monitoring, nasogastric tube insertion, and gastric lavage were the procedures most commonly applied. Activated charcoal was administered to 66.9% (n=146) of the study sample.
Conclusions: The study sample had many differences in demographic and clinical outcomes of patients with DSP as well as hospital costs compared with global reports. Gender, ingestion of non-medical substances, and treatment location affected the total hospital costs of these patients. Strategies focusing on high-risk subgroups and conditions may help to reduce unnecessary expenses.

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