Epidemiology of poisoning in Syria (1999 through 2020).Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2023 02; 61(2):116-122.CT
Acute poisoning is a significant international public health issue and one of the leading causes of death in the emergency department (ED). In the absence of any previous reports describing the poisoning profile in Syria, we present this study to assess the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of poisoning over 21 years.
We collected the data retrospectively from the Syrian Poisons Information Centre (SPIC) from January 1999 until December 2020. The data included patients who had accidental or non-accidental exposure to poisons, either by drugs, medicaments, and biological substances or substances chiefly nonmedicinal sources such as soaps and detergents, corrosive substances, pesticides, and other miscellaneous products.
We collected the data of 120,972 poisoned patients, of whom 52.6% were females, and 47.4% were males. Aleppo governorate reported the highest number of poisoned cases (28.6%), followed by Damascus governorate (19.9%). The highest poisoning rates were recorded in 2020, 2014, and 2010. Pharmaceutical (37.0%) and animal (33.8%) sources were the most common causative agents. The oral route was the route of poisoning in 58.3% of patients, and 33.4% through the skin. The most common poison was scorpion stings 19.5% while the most common cause of death was organophosphates 15.7%.
The differences in socioeconomic status, cultural habits, and agricultural and industrial activities between countries have led to a state of fluctuation regarding the most common poisoning agents.
Damascus and Aleppo, the two major governorates in Syria, had the highest poisoning cases. Oral administration of pharmaceutical agents was responsible for most of the poisoning cases. The most common individual poison was the scorpion poison, while the top killer was organophosphates.