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Introduction: Acute intoxications become more and more a serious problem in developing countries. However, epidemiologic data are very scarce in these countries.
Objective: To describe the characteristics of acute intoxications in two University Hospitals of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).
Methods: All cases admitted to the emergency services of the two sole University Hospitals of Ouagadougou from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, were included. We analysed the medical records for demographical and etiological characteristics of the acute poisoned-patients.
Results: Acute poisoned-patients (436) represented 1.9% of the patients admitted to these services. The majority of acute poisoned-patients were pre-school children followed by young adults. Accidental intoxications (70.8%) were more common than intentional (28.9) and suicidal attempts (0.3%). Among poisoned-patients, female patients represented a great majority. Pharmaceuticals were the most common cause of acute intoxication, followed by chemicals, animals' toxins, food, alcohol and addictive drugs.
Conclusion: Our study revealed that pharmaceuticals were the most common cause of acute intoxications. The great majority of poisoned-patients were young. Female patients were the major poisoned-patients. Most admissions in the emergency services due to acute intoxications resulted from accidental poisoning.
Key words: Acute intoxication; Characteristics; Retrospective study; Burkina Faso.