Fatal aluminum phosphide poisoning in Tehran-Iran from 2007 to 20100
Lewis S. Nelson
Seyed Ali Bahreini
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Background: Aluminum phosphide (AlP) is also known as "rice tablet" in Iran. Due to the high incidence of acute AlP poisoning and its associated mortality in Iran, the authorities banned AlP-containing tablets in 2007. The aim of this study is to evaluate the trend of acute fatal AlP poisoning subsequent to this restriction. 0Materials and Methods: 0 This is a retrospective chart review of patients with acute "rice tablet" poisoning who were admitted to Loghman Hakim Hospital Poison Center, Tehran, Iran, from 2007 to 2010. Collected information included gender, age, type of poisoning, marital status, duration of hospitalization, and outcome. Results: There were 956 cases with a mortality rate of 24.06%. The incidence of fatal AlP poisoning was 2.1 and 5.81 per one million populations of Tehran in 2007 and 2010, respectively. In 223 of the fatal cases (97%) and 697 of the non-fatal cases (96%), the poisoning was intentional. The male to female ratio in the fatal and non-fatal cases was 1.04:1 and 1:1.3, respectively. Most of the fatal cases (n = 122, 53%) were unmarried. The mean age was 27.32 ± 11.31 and 24.5 ± 8.19 years in fatal and non-fatal cases, respectively. In 196 (85.2%) of the fatal cases and in 577 (79%) of non-fatal cases, the duration of hospitalization was less than 24 hours and between 48-72 hours, respectively. Conclusion: The results of this study showed the incidence of "rice tablet" poisoning, and its mortality increased since 2007 in spite of the ban. It seems that legislative means alone without other interventions, such as suicide prevention and public education, will not always be able to control or prevent acute intentional poisonings.