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Factors that trigger emergency physicians to contact a poison centre: findings from a Swiss study


Schurter, David; Rauber-Lüthy, Christine; Jahns, Maximilian; Haberkern, Monika; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis; Eriksson, Urs; Ceschi, Alessandro (2014). Factors that trigger emergency physicians to contact a poison centre: findings from a Swiss study. Postgraduate medical journal, 90(1061):139-143.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Poison centres offer rapid and comprehensive support for emergency physicians managing poisoned patients. This study investigates institutional, case-specific and poisoning-specific factors which influence the decision of emergency physicians to contact a poison centre.
METHODS: Retrospective, consecutive review of all poisoning-related admissions to the emergency departments (EDs) of a primary care hospital and a university hospital-based tertiary referral centre during 2007. Corresponding poison centre consultations were extracted from the poison centre database. Data were matched and analysed by logistic regression and generalised linear mixed models.
RESULTS: 545 poisonings were treated in the participating EDs (350 (64.2%) in the tertiary care centre, 195 (35.8%) in the primary care hospital). The poison centre was consulted in 62 (11.4%) cases (38 (61.3%) by the tertiary care centre and 24 (38.7%) by the primary care hospital). Factors significantly associated with poison centre consultation included gender (female vs male) (OR 2.99; 95% CI 1.69 to 5.29; p<0.001), number of ingested substances (>1 vs 1) (OR 2.84; 95% CI 1.65 to 4.9; p<0.001) and situation (accidental vs intentional) (OR 2.76; 95% CI 1.05 to 7.25; p=0.039). In contrast, age, medical history and hospital size did not influence poison centre consultation. Poison centre consultation was significantly higher during the week, and significantly less during night shifts. The poison centre was consulted significantly more when patients were admitted to intensive care units (OR 5.81; 95% CI 3.25 to 10.37; p<0.001). Asymptomatic and severe versus mild cases were associated with more frequent consultation (OR 4.48; 95% CI 1.78 to 11.26; p=0.001 and OR 2.76; 95% CI 1.42 to 5.38; p=0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: We found low rates of poison centre consultation by emergency physicians. It appears that intensive care unit admission and other factors reflecting either complexity or uncertainty of the clinical situation are the strongest predictors for poison centre consultation. Hospital size did not influence referral behaviour.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Poison centres offer rapid and comprehensive support for emergency physicians managing poisoned patients. This study investigates institutional, case-specific and poisoning-specific factors which influence the decision of emergency physicians to contact a poison centre.
METHODS: Retrospective, consecutive review of all poisoning-related admissions to the emergency departments (EDs) of a primary care hospital and a university hospital-based tertiary referral centre during 2007. Corresponding poison centre consultations were extracted from the poison centre database. Data were matched and analysed by logistic regression and generalised linear mixed models.
RESULTS: 545 poisonings were treated in the participating EDs (350 (64.2%) in the tertiary care centre, 195 (35.8%) in the primary care hospital). The poison centre was consulted in 62 (11.4%) cases (38 (61.3%) by the tertiary care centre and 24 (38.7%) by the primary care hospital). Factors significantly associated with poison centre consultation included gender (female vs male) (OR 2.99; 95% CI 1.69 to 5.29; p<0.001), number of ingested substances (>1 vs 1) (OR 2.84; 95% CI 1.65 to 4.9; p<0.001) and situation (accidental vs intentional) (OR 2.76; 95% CI 1.05 to 7.25; p=0.039). In contrast, age, medical history and hospital size did not influence poison centre consultation. Poison centre consultation was significantly higher during the week, and significantly less during night shifts. The poison centre was consulted significantly more when patients were admitted to intensive care units (OR 5.81; 95% CI 3.25 to 10.37; p<0.001). Asymptomatic and severe versus mild cases were associated with more frequent consultation (OR 4.48; 95% CI 1.78 to 11.26; p=0.001 and OR 2.76; 95% CI 1.42 to 5.38; p=0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: We found low rates of poison centre consultation by emergency physicians. It appears that intensive care unit admission and other factors reflecting either complexity or uncertainty of the clinical situation are the strongest predictors for poison centre consultation. Hospital size did not influence referral behaviour.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:28 Feb 2014 13:47
Last Modified:14 Feb 2018 21:08
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0032-5473
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2013-132242
PubMed ID:24443557

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