Objectives. The objective of this study is to estimate the numbers and rate of emergency department visits in South Korea that are the result of pesticide poisoning and to describe their epidemiologic characteristics. Materials and methods. Data collected from the National Emergency Department Information System were used to estimate the number of emergency department visits due to pesticide poisoning in South Korea for the period spanning 2006 through 2009. Emergency department visits for pesticide poisoning were defined by ICD-10 codes (T60.0-T60.9). National estimates and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated per 100 000 population. Results. Among the 65 877 total poisoning-related emergency department visits in the data, 11 985 (18.2%) were emergency department visits resulting from pesticide poisoning. During the study period, the annual average rate of emergency department visits for pesticide poisoning was 26.8 per 100 000 population. Intentional pesticide poisoning (51.4%) was more frequent than unintentional. The fatality rate from intentional pesticide poisoning was also higher than that from unintentional or cases where the intention was unknown. In terms of age-specific rates of emergency department visits for pesticide poisoning, they increased with age, as did the gap between men and women. Conclusions. This study provide estimates for emergency department visits due to pesticide poisoning at the national level and suggests that pesticide poisonings, both intentional and unintentional, require significant public health interventions in South Korea.
- Emergency department
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