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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


MENA H, Cristián et al. Epidemiology of intoxications in Chile: ten years of registry. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.4, pp.493-499. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: The existence of Poison Centers for management and prevention of intoxications has been endorsed by the international experience. In Chile, the Toxicological Information Center at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile has been active since 1992, receiving about 130.000 calls until 2002. Aim: To analyze the statistical data gathered throughout the first ten years of our Research Center. To delineate the epidemiological pa-ttern of intoxications in Chile. Material and methods: Retrospective study in which records from calls for toxicological information received during the 1992-2002 period reviewed. Analyzed data were total calls per year, place of call, exposure circumstances, age, sex, route of exposure and involved agents. Results: 96,468 calls analyzed. The main exposure circumstance was «unintentional» (78.6%), followed by «intentional» (16.9%). Intoxications in children under 5 years old motivated 50% of calls. According to route of exposure, ingestions involved 75,992 calls (78.8%). Medications were the most common substances, accounting for 49.2% of calls, followed by cleaning products (12.1%), pesticides (11.3%), industrial and chemical products (10.5%) and cosmetics (2.7%). Medications acting on the CNS were the most recurrent, with 19,096 reports. Conclusions: The epidemiological pattern for intoxications in Chile is very si-milar to that reported in developed and other Latin American countries. Children under 5 years old, are a high risk group for intoxications. It is imperative to improve the recording and follow-up of patients that call to the Center, to improve epidemiological data of intoxications in Chile (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 493-9)

Palabras clave : Poisoning; Poison Control Centers; Toxicology.

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