Clinical features of emergency department patients with depression who had attempted to commit suicide by poisoning
Background: Many patients present to the emergency department (ED) complaining of intentional poisoning. Of those, some have major depressive disorder (MDD) in their medical history. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of MDD patients who were treated for poisoning in the ED.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective review was performed on 268 patients who were treated with poisoning between July 2007 and November 2011. Of these patients, we only included those who were over 18 years of age. Information regarding age, gender, cause, time of ingestion, type of drug, history of attempting suicide, and outcome, among other characteristics, was collected and compared to patients who did not have MDD.
Results: A total of 244 patients were included in this study. Of those, 52 patients (21.3%) had a history of MDD. Compared to non.MDD patients, a majority (34.6% vs. 19.8%) of those in the MDD group had a history of suicide attempts (P = 0.027), and 34 (65.4% in the MDD group vs. 34.4% in the non.MDD group) took more than two types of drugs (P < 0.001). There were no differences in age, sex, time of ingestion or disease severity between MDD and non.MDD patients.
Conclusion: In poisoning patients with MDD, physicians in the ED must consider that they have a higher tendency to show suicidal behavior and to have ingested multiple types of drugs.
Key words: Depressive disorder, emergencies, poisoning, suicide