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Epidemiological Estimates of Emergency Visits Due to Poisoning In Children

Monday, October 22, 2012
Versailles Ballroom (Hilton Riverside)
Min Kyeong Lee, DMD1, Ingrid M. Anderson, MD2, Veerasathpurush Allareddy, BDS, MBA, PhD3 and Veerajalandhar Allareddy, MD, MBA2, (1)Department of Developmental Biology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, (2)Pediatric Critical Care and Pharmacology, University Hospitals, Rainbow Babies Children's Hospital., Cleveland, OH, (3)Dental Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, MA

Purpose The objective of this study is to provide epidemiological estimates of hospital based emergency department visits (ED) due to poisoning occurring among children aged ≤ 17 years in the United States during the year 2008.

Methods The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample for the year 2008 was used. All pediatric ED visits (age ≤ 17 years) with external cause of injury codes for poisoning were selected for analysis. Patient-related attributes were examined. Outcomes of interest include disposition status following ED visit and ED charges.

Results A total of 180,215 ED visits among children had poisoning as an external cause of injury. More than 55.9% of these ED visits occurred among those aged ≤ 3 years. About 89.6% of all ED visits were discharged routinely, 6.8% were admitted as inpatient into the same hospital, and 3.2% were transferred to another hospital. Forty-four children died in the ED, and 23 died following inpatient admission. Close to 54% of all ED visits occurred among males, and 70.9% occurred on a weekday. About 61.4% of all ED visits comprised of those residing in areas with average household income levels < $49,000. The mean charge per ED visit was $1,033 and the ED charges for the entire United States was $155.77 million. The mean hospitalization charges for those admitted as inpatients was $11,030 and the total hospitalization charges across the entire United States was $133 million. Medicaid was the major payer covering close to 46% of all ED visits.

Conclusion High-risk groups that are likely to visit hospital based emergency departments following poisoning are identified, and the economic burden associated with treating such patients are quantified using a nationally representative sample.