or = 16 years) treated at the EMA during one year (April 2008 to April 2009) were included consecutively in an observational study design. The treating physicians completed a standardized form comprising information needed to address the study's aims. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify the factors associated with hospitalization. Results There were 2348 contacts for 1856 individuals; 1157 (62%) were male, and the median age was 34 years. The most frequent main toxic agents were ethanol (43%), opioids (22%) and CO or fire smoke (10%). The physicians classified 73% as accidental overdoses with substances of abuse taken for recreational purposes, 15% as other accidents (self-inflicted or other) and 11% as suicide attempts. Most (91%) patients were treated with observation only. The median observation time until discharge was 3.8 hours. No patient developed sequelae or died at the EMA. Seventeen per cent were hospitalized. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, respiratory depression, paracetamol, reduced consciousness and suicidal intention were factors associated with hospitalization. Forty-eight per cent were discharged without referral to follow-up. The one-month mortality was 0.6%. Of the nine deaths, five were by new accidental overdose with substances of abuse. Conclusions More than twice as many patients were treated at the EMA compared with all hospitals in Oslo. Despite more than a doubling of the annual number of poisoned patients treated at the EMA since 2003, there was no mortality or sequelae, indicating that the current practice is safe. Thus, most low- to intermediate-acuity poisonings can be treated safely without the need to access hospital resources. Although the short-term mortality was low, more follow-up of patients with substance abuse should be encouraged."/>
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Table 4 Factors associated with hospitalization, results of multivariate logistic regression

From: Outpatient treatment of acute poisonings in Oslo: poisoning pattern, factors associated with hospitalization, and mortality

    Crude Adjusted
  Total Hospitalized OR 95% CI OR 95% CI
Age (+10 years)    1.0 0.9-1.0 1.1** 1.0-1.2
Sex       
Males 1319 237 (18) Ref    
Females 689 173 (25) 1.5* 1.2-1.9 1.1 0.8-1.5
Main agents       
Other agents 609 188 (31) Ref    
Ethanol 859 65 (8) 0.2* 0.1-0.3 0.2* 0.1-0.3
Opioids 437 76 (17) 0.5* 0.3-0.7 0.4* 0.3-0.6
GHB 48 40 (83) 11.2* 5.1-24.4 12.5* 5.4-29.3
Paracetamol 55 41 (75) 6.6* 3.5-12.3 3.8* 1.9-7.6
GCS      
Awake (15) 990 206 (21) Ref    
Drowsy (8-14) 908 167 (18) 0.9 0.7-1.1 1.6** 1.2-2.3
Comatose (< 8) 109 37 (34) 2.0** 1.3-3.0 2.3** 1.3-4.3
Complications       
Number 1726 299 (17) Ref    
Respiratory depression 61 33 (54) 5.6* 3.3-9.5 7.8* 4.2-14.4
Others 221 78 (35) 2.6* 1.9-3.5 3.7* 2.5-5.3
Intention       
Accidents 334 70 (21) Ref    
AOSA 1439 200 (14) 0.6** 0.5-0.8 0.9 0.6-1.4
Possible suicide attempt 133 70 (53) 4.1* 2.7-6.4 4.5* 2.8-7.3
Definite suicide attempt 88 59 (67) 7.7* 4.6-12.9 8.2* 4.7-14.4
Unknown 14 11 (79) 13.8* 3.8-50.9 2.8 0.5-17.2
Total cases 2008 410 (20)     
  1. *Significant, p < 0.001, **significant, p < 0.05
  2. AOSA: accidental overdose with substances of abuse
  3. †Glasgow Coma Scale: one case with a missing value
  4. Age was subtracted by 10 in the analysis