Objective: This study aimed to review and report the trend of poisoning cases handled by NPC for a period between 2006 and 2009.
Methods: In 2006, new classes of poisoning agents were introduced and certain classes were expanded into sub-classes based on the IPCS INTOX Data Management System. Age, gender, date of exposure, route of exposure, reason of exposure and type of poisoning were evaluated. Data were analysed using SPSS 18.0 to generate frequencies and percentages.
Results: A total of 9,413 poisoning cases were referred to NPC within the 4-year period with increased cases every year. Of the poisoning enquiries, 60.4 % were handled after office hours and the majority (99 %) of enquiries received were from medical doctors. Of the cases, 59.6 % involved adult patients and 56.3 % were intentional incidents. Pharmaceutical products (32.8 %) were the main substances implicated, followed by pesticides (32.2 %) and household products (23.8 %). Analysis of the sub-classes of the common substances showed that herbicides, insecticides and cleaning agents were the most common substances implicated. The majority of the victims were male who were mainly involved in pesticides poisoning. Exposure to poisoning occurred mainly via ingestion (94 %) followed by inhalation (2.3 %).
Conclusion: The trend of poisoning incidences from 2006 to 2009 was almost similar to the previous 5-year report. Pesticides and pharmaceutical products remain the main substances implicated. The increase in the number of poisoning cases handled yearly implies that the 24-h Poisoning Call Service remains relevant and important especially to new medical officers.