The poisoning information database (PIDB) provides clinical toxicological information on commonly encountered toxic substances in Korea. The aim of this study was to estimate the coverage rate of the PIDB by comparing the database with the distribution of toxic substances that real poisoning patients presented to 20 emergency departments. Development of the PIDB started in 2007, and the number of toxic substances increased annually from 50 to 470 substances in 2014. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients with toxic exposure who visited 20 emergency departments in Korea from January to December 2013. Identified toxic substances were classified as prescription drug, agricultural chemical, household product, animal or plant, herbal drug, or other. We calculated the coverage rate of the PIDB for both the number of poisoning cases and the kinds of toxic substances. A total of 10,887 cases of intoxication among 8,145 patients was collected. The 470 substances registered in the PIDB covered 89.3% of 8,891 identified cases related to poisoning, while the same substances only covered 45.3% of the 671 kinds of identified toxic substances. According to category, 211 prescription drugs, 58 agricultural chemicals, 28 household products, and 32 animals or plants were not covered by the PIDB. This study suggested that the PIDB covered a large proportion of real poisoning cases in Korea. However, the database should be continuously extended to provide information for even rare toxic substances.
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