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Assessment of trend of mortality due to poisoning in the northern zone of india and comparison with other international & national researches

Authors:Naveen Sharma, Kunal Khanna, Kuldeep Kumar, Tarun Dagar, Sandeep Kumar Giri, Vijay Pal Khanagwal
Int J Biol Med Res. 2024; 15(1): 7741-7745  |  PDF File


“All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.” - Paracelsus Poisoning is the well-known second most common cause of unnatural deaths due to over usage of pesticides including fertilizers, especially in developing countries like India with the intent to increase the production of crops. Reducing the deaths by poisoning is a global challenge. The nature of death due to poisoning remains unnatural in these cases, therefore, these cases fall under the jurisdiction of a forensic pathologist for medicolegal autopsy. Aims: This research was done about update present information on the patterns and analyze the characteristics of poisoning in relation to age, gender, area of living, type of poison used and manner of death in the northern zone of India and also compare these characteristics with other International and National researches done on poisoning. Methods: This study comprised hospital deaths in the jurisdiction of Karnal district alleged to have died due to poisoning in two years i.e. 2021 and 2022. The data required was collected from the medical and medicolegal records including chemical analysis reports of the deceased. Results: In total, 432 dead bodies were brought for medicolegal autopsy during the study period. Out of them, poisoning constitutes 18.75 % of all unnatural deaths. The incidences of deaths due to poison was found higher in male (64.2%) and male to female ratio was 1.8: 1. Mortality was seen higher in the individuals living in rural areas 65.43 % while urban areas constituted 34.57%. The poisoning deaths were higher in the aged between 18 to 30 years (48.17%). In the pediatric age group, death due to poisoning was not seen. The five most common poisoning agents in decreasing order, were pesticide (48.15%), insecticide (38.30%), unknown poison including rodenticide (6.15%), therapeutic drug (3.70%) and snake bite (3.69%). The majority of deceased consumed poison as suicide (44.44%) followed by accidental (32.11%) and homicidal (3.70%) manner. The manner was not ascertained in 19.75% of cases. The results of the present study were comparable to other International and National studies on poisoning. Conclusion: The present study concludes that the maximum deaths occurred in male individuals of the productive age group due to pesticides. This could be due to either excessive use of fertilizers or to take the benefit of laws under which a claim is given by the state government to the farmers whose deaths occurred due to poisoning while working in a field which creates an unnecessary burden on the Nation. Results of this study suggest that such kind of research should be conducted at the world level to assess the current scenario on the deaths by poison and effectivity of the already done interventions. Furthermore, amendments in the already existing laws are a core demand for an abrupt reduction in deaths by poison across the world.