Indexed on: 14 Jan '17Published on: 14 Jan '17Published in: Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.)
To characterize poison exposures in young Israeli military personnel as reported to the national poison center.Retrospective poison center chart review over a 14-year period. Cases included were Israeli soldiers aged 18-21 years, the compulsory military service age required by the Israeli law.1770 records of poison exposures in young military personnel were identified. Most exposed individuals involved males (n = 1268, 71.6%). Main routes of exposure were ingestion (n = 854, 48.3%), inhalation (n = 328, 18.6%) and ocular (n = 211, 11.9%). Accidents or misuse (n = 712, 40.2%) were the most frequently reported circumstances, followed by suicide attempts (370, 20.9%), and bites and stings (161, 9.1%). More than half of the cases involved chemicals (n = 939, 53.1%); hydrocarbons, gases and corrosives were the main causative agents. Pharmaceuticals (mainly analgesics) were involved in 519 (29.3%) cases, venomous animals (mainly scorpions, centipedes, and snakes) in 79 (4.5%). Clinical manifestations were reported in 666 (37.6%) cases, mostly gastrointestinal, neurologic, and respiratory. The vast majority of cases (1634, 92.3%) were asymptomatic or mildly affected; no fatalities were recorded. In 831 (46.9%) cases the clinical toxicologist recommended referral to an emergency department; ambulatory observation was recommended in 563 (31.8%) cases, and hospitalization in 86 (4.9%).Our data show that poison exposures among young soldiers involve mainly males, accidents, misuse and suicides, oral route and chemicals; most exposures were asymptomatic or with mild severity. Repeated evaluations of poison center data pertaining to military personnel is advised for identifying trends in poison exposure and characteristics in this particular population.