Original Article

Evaluation of Cases with Acute Organophosphate Pesticide Poisoning Presenting at a Tertiary Training Hospital Emergency Department: Intoxication or Suicide?


  • Dilek Soysal
  • Volkan Karakuş
  • Ahmet Soysal
  • Erhan Tatar
  • Bayram Yıldız
  • Hatice Şimşek

Received Date: 12.01.2011 Accepted Date: 12.04.2011 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2011;10(4):156-160


The aim of this study was to evaluate cases of acute poisoning by organophosphate pesticides, mainly used for suicidal purposes.

Materials and Methods:

In this retrospective, cross-sectional study, twenty three cases who presented with acute organophosphate pesticide poisoning between January 2005 and December 2006 were evaluated. The diagnosis “acute poisoning” included only acute intoxications and excluded symptomatic poisoning due to chronic intoxication.


Of the 23 cases, 13 were women and mean age was 31.3±11.9 years. Poisoning was common in Summer. Nineteen cases (82.6%) were admitted to the emergency between room 17.00 PM and 08.00 AM. Of the 23 cases, 15 (65.2%) were farmers, 5 (21.7%) were unemployed, 2 (8.7%) were students and 1 (4.3%) was a worker. Fourteen cases (59.8%) had no social security. Eighteen cases (78.3%) were residing in the rural area or outside Izmir. Three cases took the toxic substance accidentally and 20 (87.0%) for suicidal purposes. The most common symptom on admission was bronchial hypersecretion (91.3%). Eight patients (34.8%) with respiratory failure required mechanical ventilation. Median duration of hospital stay was 5 days. Overall mortality was 13.0%. Atropine was used in all the cases. Pralidoxime was used in 20 cases with a total amount ranging between 2 and 42g at a median of 6 days.


Poisoning with organophosphate pesticides is more common among farmers and the major cause is the suicide.

Keywords: Organophosphates, pesticides, poisoning, suicide