Journal of Community Health

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 57–61 | Cite as

Pattern of Drug Overdose and Chemical Poisoning Among Patients Attending an Emergency Department, Western Saudi Arabia

  • Mohamad Bakhaidar
  • Saber Jan
  • Fayssal Farahat
  • Ahmad Attar
  • Basim Alsaywid
  • Wesam Abuznadah
Original Paper


Poisoning is a medical emergency that represent a major health problem all over the world. Studies on drug overdose and chemical poisoning are very limited in Saudi Arabia (SA). We aimed to describe the current pattern and assess risk factors of drug overdose and chemical poisoning in King Khalid National Guard hospital, Jeddah, SA. Medical records of patients attended emergency department in King Khalid National Guard hospital during the period from January 2008 to December 2012 due to drug overdose and chemical poisoning were reviewed. A total of 129 cases were included in the study. The majority of the population was Saudi (97.7 %), and almost half of them were females (54.3 %). Children under 12 years were the most affected age group (44.2 %). Drug overdose was the most common cause of poisoning (92.2 %). Analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs represented the highest percentage of used medications (20.4 %). The most commonly reported symptoms were symptoms of the central nervous system (57.4 %) followed by GIT symptoms (41.9 %). Intentional poisoning was reported in 34 cases (26.4 %). Female patients were significantly more likely to attempt suicide than male patients (OR = 7.22, 95 % CI = 1.70, 30.62). Children continue to be at high risk for medication and chemical poisoning. Accessibility to medications at homes encountered for most of poisoning cases among children. Implementing methods to raise public awareness and minimize children access to medications would significantly contribute to reducing burden of this problem on the community.


Poisoning Drug overdose Emergency service Saudi Arabia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamad Bakhaidar
    • 1
  • Saber Jan
    • 2
  • Fayssal Farahat
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ahmad Attar
    • 3
  • Basim Alsaywid
    • 3
  • Wesam Abuznadah
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine King Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.College of MedicineTaibah UniversityMadinahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), King Saud bin AbdulAziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS)King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC)JeddahSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Public Health and Community Medicine DepartmentMenoufia UniversityMenoufiaEgypt

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