Sao Paulo Medical Journal
Print version ISSN 1516-3180
GALVAO, Taís Freire et al. Impact of a poison control center on the length of hospital stay of poisoned patients: retrospective cohort. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2011, vol.129, n.1, pp.23-29. ISSN 1516-3180. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-31802011000100005.
CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Poison control centers play an essential role in caring for poisoned patients, albeit without secure funding for their activities. The aim here was to investigate differences in length of hospital stay among poisoned patients, between those who received remote assistance from a poison control center and those who did not. DESIGN AND SETTING: A retrospective cohort including all poisoned patients hospitalized at an emergency service in Manaus between 2005 and 2007 was set up, and the local poison control center database was checked to see whether they received such assistance. METHODS: Patients presenting a known toxic agent, with less than 12 hours since exposure and without severe comorbidities, were selected. Their severity of poisoning was evaluated by two independent reviewers and divergences were resolved by another reviewer. RESULTS: One hundred and ninety-eight patients were included. Those who received remote assistance from a poison control center stayed in hospital on average for 3.43 days less than those without poison control center assistance (95% confidence interval, CI: -6.10 to -0.77). Severity was assessed in the cases of 90 patients: there was no statistical difference in severity between the patients with and without poison control center assistance (P > 0.5). CONCLUSION: Patients with remote assistance from a poison control center had a shorter length of stay then patients without this aid. The poison control center may have reduced the length of stay of the poisoned patients
Keywords : Poison Control Centers; Length of stay; Poisoning; Hospitalization; Health services research.