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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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March 2019
Yedidia Bentur MD, Yael Lurie MD, Alfred Cahana MD, Anna Bloom-Krasik MD, Nona Kovler MD, Gal Neuman MD, Bella Gurevych MD, Paul Sofer MD and Wendy Klein-Schwartz PharmD MPH

Background: The Israel Poison Information Center (IPIC), Rambam Health Care Campus, provides 24-hour telephone consultations on clinical toxicology and drug and reproductive toxicology. It participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and provides laboratory services. In 2014, nurse specialists in poison information joined the IPIC.

Objectives: To report the epidemiology of poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We present computerized queries and a descriptive analysis of the medical records database of the IPIC for 2017.

Results: A total of 39,928 poison exposure cases were recorded, reflecting increases of 226.3% and 26.7% compared with 1995 and 2012, respectively. Children < 6 years of age were involved in 47.0% of cases; 80.4% of calls were made by the public and 17.8% by physicians; 74.2% of exposures were unintentional and 7.3% intentional. Pharmaceuticals were involved in 51.4% of cases, chemicals in 36.9%, bites and stings in 2.2%, and plants and mushrooms in 1.5%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products, and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.3%, mainly due to insecticides, drugs of abuse, and corrosives. Three fatalities were recorded (due to colchicine, organophosphates, and volatile substance inhalant abuse).

Conclusions: Poison exposures and poisonings have markedly increased in Israel, contributing substantially to morbidity. The IPIC prevented unnecessary referrals to emergency departments. Its database is a valuable national resource for collecting and monitoring poisoning exposure cases. It can be used as a real-time surveillance system for the benefit of public health. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory, and its activities adequately supported by national resources.

October 2015
Ophir Lavon MD and Yedidia Bentur MD

Background: Exposure to silica gel, a common desiccant, is considered common and non-toxic although data are limited.

Objectives: To evaluate the characteristics of silica gel ingestion, and to attempt to estimate the associated health care costs.

Methods: We conducted a one year retrospective review of charts of a national poison information center to characterize ingestions of silica gel and estimate its direct cost to health care services. Cost evaluation was based on emergency department and community clinic tariffs (NIS 807/US$ 213 and NIS 253/US$ 67, respectively).

Results: A total of 546 cases were recorded, 2.1% of the annual calls to the poison information center. Most ingestions occurred in children younger than 6 years old (91.4%, 65.2% < 2 years). Median monthly exposure was 42; the peak (74) occurred in April, before the Passover holiday. Sixty calls (11%) came from health care facilities and the rest were reported by the public; 2.7% were symptomatic, mainly mild self-limited mouth and throat discomfort. The direct annual treatment cost of patients who referred themselves to health care facilities without consulting first with the Poison Center (n=60) was NIS 24,598/US$ 6507 (emergency department and community clinic visit fees). 

Conclusions: Silica gel ingestion is relatively common, occurring mainly in young children; it is rarely symptomatic but is a source of unnecessary referrals to health care facilities. The potential annual saving by preventing unnecessary referrals due to poison information center advice was estimated at NIS 375,678/US$ 99,383. The availability of poison information center services may prevent unnecessary referrals to health care facilities and thus save costs. 

 

November 2014
Yedidia Bentur MD, Yael Lurie MD, Alfred Cahana MD, Nona Kovler MD, Anna Bloom-Krasik MD, Bella Gurevych MD and Wendy Klein-Schwartz PharmD MPH

Background: The Israel National Poison Information Center (IPIC), Rambam Health Care Campus, provides 24 hour telephone consultations in clinical toxicology as well as drug and teratogen information. It participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and also provides laboratory services.

Objectives: To report data on the epidemiology of poisonings and poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We made computerized queries and descriptive analyses of the medical records database of the IPIC during 2012.

Results: A total of 31,519 poison exposure cases were recorded, a 157.6% increase compared with 1995. Children < 6 years of age were involved in 43.1% of cases; 74.0% of calls were made by the public and 23.7% by physicians; 74.8% of exposures were unintentional and 9.1% intentional. Chemicals were involved in 35.8% of all cases (single and multiple substances), pharmaceuticals in 48.8%, bites and stings in 3.8%, and plants and mushrooms in 1.6%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.4%. Substances most frequently involved in moderate/major exposures were corrosives, insecticides and snake venom. Four fatalities were recorded; all were intentional exposures in adults (corrosive, medications, energy drink).

Conclusions: Poison exposures and poisonings have increased significantly and have contributed substantial to morbidity and mortality in Israel. The IPIC database is a valuable national resource for the collection and monitoring of poisoning exposure cases. It can be used as a real-time surveillance system for the benefit of public health. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory and its activities be adequately supported by national resources.

September 2010
Y. Bentur, N. Desiatnic Obchinikov, A. Cahana, N. Kovler, A. Bloom-Krasik, O. Lavon, B. Gurevych and Y. Lurie

Background: Poisonings are a significant cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality. The Israel Poison Information Center provides clinical consultations on poisonings and drug information 24 hours a day.

Objective: To evaluate epidemiologic characteristics of pediatric poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We reviewed computerized queries and performed a descriptive analysis of the Poison Center database pertaining to patients less than 18 years old during 2007.

Results: A total of 15,005 pediatric poison exposures were recorded, 80.3% of them occurring in children under 6 years old. Of the calls to the Poison Center, 78.6% were made by the public, 20.7% by physicians, and in 74.4% the call was within 2 hours of exposure. Most exposures occurred at home (89.3%) and were unintentional (89.5%). Among adolescents, most exposures were intentional (49.3%, 38.2% suicides), the time lapse until consultation was longer (37% > 2 hours), and more physicians (54.8%) consulted the Poison Center. Most cases were asymptomatic or mildly affected (92.3%), 54.4% in adolescents. The commonest substances involved in single poison exposure were detergents, antimicrobials, topical preparations, acetaminophen and scale removers; in adolescents the most common substances were acetaminophen, methylphenidate, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, atropine and ethanol. Moderate to severe toxicity was commonly associated with organophosphates, alkali, ethanol, Vipera palaestinae and neuroleptics. Most patients could be observed at home (66.6%), while more adolescents were referred to emergency departments (42.2% vs. 9.9%) or hospitalized (14.5% vs. 1.9%).

Conclusions: Pediatric poisonings are a significant health problem. The magnitude of the problem is greater in the young age group but more severe in adolescence, probably due to deliberate self-poisoning. Greater national efforts should be directed towards improved poison prevention, rational management of pediatric poisoning, and creating a national poisoning registry.
 

November 2008
Y. Bentur et al

Background: The Israel National Poison Information Center, Rambam Health Care Campus, provides telephone consultations on clinical toxicology as well as drug and teratogen information around the clock. The Center participates in research, teaching and regulatory activities, and also provides laboratory services.

Objectives: To analyze data on the epidemiology of poisonings and poison exposures in Israel.

Methods: We conducted computerized queries and a descriptive analysis of the medical records database of the IPIC[1] during 2007.

Results: Overall, 26,738 poison exposure cases were recorded, a 118.5% increase compared to 1995. Children under 6 years old were involved in 45% of cases; 73% of the calls were made by the public and 25.5% by physicians; 74.4% of exposures were unintentional and 9.2% intentional. Chemicals were involved in 37.9% of cases, pharmaceuticals in 44.2%, bites and stings in 4.3% and poisonous plants in 1.2%. Substances most frequently involved were analgesics, cleaning products and antimicrobials. Clinical severity was moderate/major in 3.5%. Substances most frequently involved in moderate/major exposures were insecticides, drugs of abuse and corrosives. Eight fatalities were recorded – three unintentional exposures (all chemicals) and five intentional (chemicals, medications, drugs of abuse).

Conclusions: The rates of poison exposures and poisonings in Israel have increased significantly, contributing substantially to morbidity and mortality. The IPIC database is a valuable national resource for collecting and monitoring cases of poison exposure and can be used as a real-time surveillance system. It is recommended that reporting to the IPIC become mandatory and that its activities be adequately supported by national resources.

 






[1] IPIC = Israel National Poison Information Center


S. Gweta et al.

Background: Due to extensive activity at sea, certain human populations, especially fishermen, are exposed to direct contact with the sea's inhabitants, including dangerous marine animals.

Objectives: To characterize and assess the extent of injuries caused by marine organisms along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, their type, severity and medical treatment given.

Methods: Data were obtained from a survey on injuries from marine organisms conducted among professional fishermen along the Mediterranean coast of Israel and from medical records reporting toxicological consultations provided by the Israel Poison Information Center.

Results: Injuries caused by marine organisms are not rare in Israel, but most cases are not severe. The most common injuries reported by fishermen were caused by stingrays (30%), weaver fish (22%), rabbit fish, (13%) and marine catfish (10%) – a new Red Sea immigrant. Most fishermen tend to treat such injuries themselves and sought medical help only when an unknown venomous fish was involved. Most cases of severe toxicity were due to secondary infection. Data from the IPIC[1] indicated that 64% of the calls were from the general public and the rest came from physicians in health care facilities. Four sources of injuries were identified: cleaning and preparing fish for consumption, during leisure water sport activities, handling marine aquaria, and fishing. Most cases from the IPIC were graded as minor severity (85%) and were treated symptomatically.
Conclusions: We recommend that medical facilities be installed at the fishing anchorages and that a separate category be established for injuries by marine organisms to facilitate epidemiological data collection from health care facilities







[1] IPIC = Israel Poison Information Center


Ophir Lavon, MD, Yael Lurie, MD and Yedidia Bentur, MD

Background: Scombroid fish poisoning is an acute illness caused by consumption of fish containing high concentrations of histamine. Improper handling of fish leads to bacterial contamination. Bacterial enzymes convert histidine to histamine. Symptoms develop quickly and resemble an immunoglobulin E-mediated allergic reaction. The diagnosis is often missed. Serious complications (e.g., bronchospasm, hypotension) are infrequent.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of scombroid fish poisoning in Israel as reported to the National Poison Information Center.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective poison center chart review from January 2005 to December 2007.

Results: During the study period, 21 events of scombroid poisoning involving 46 patients were recorded. Tuna was the commonest fish consumed (84.7%). Clinical manifestations developed within 20 minutes in 65.2% of the patients. The main clinical manifestations included rash (41%), flushing (37%), gastrointestinal complaints (37%) and headache (30.4%). About 25% had abnormal vital signs; two patients developed hypotension. Treatment was supportive and included mainly H1-antagonists (65.2%) and fluids (13%). Five patients were initially misdiagnosed as having an allergic reaction and were treated with corticosteroids (four patients) and epinephrine (one patient).

Conclusions: Scombroid fish poisoning should be suspected in patients with histamine-like manifestations that are temporally related to fish (mainly tuna) consumption, especially in outbreaks. Although scombroid poisoning is often self-limited and responds well to antihistamines, prolonged observation may be required as severe toxicity can supervene. Proper handling of fish and urgent notification of the Ministry of Health are mandatory in order to prevent this potentially serious public heath problem.
 

Ophir Lavon, MD, Yael Lurie, MD, Benjamin Abbou, MD, Bishara Bishara, MD, Shlomo Hanan Israelit, MD PhD and Yedidia Bentur, MD.
January 2002
Bianca Raikhlin-Eisenkraft PhD and Yedidia Bentur MD

Background: Ciguatera poisoning is the commonest fish-borne seafood intoxication. It is endemic to warm water tropical areas and is caused by consumption of bottom-dwelling shore reef fish, mostly during spring and summer. The causative agent, ciguatoxin, is a heat-stable ester complex that becomes concentrated in fish feeding on toxic dinoflagellates. The common clinical manifestations are a combination of gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms. Severe poisoning may be associated with seizures and respiratory paralysis.

Objective: To describe a series of patients who sustained ciguatera poisoning from an uncommon region and an unexpected source.

Patients: Two families complained of a sensation of “electrical currents,” tremors, muscle cramps, nightmares, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety and nausea of varying severity several hours after consuming rabbitfish (“aras”). These symptoms lasted between 12 and 30 hours and resolved completely. The temporal relationship to a summer fish meal, the typical clinical manifestations along with the known feeding pattern of the rabbitfish suggested ciguatera poisoning.

Conclusions: The Eastern Mediterranean basin is an unusual region and the rabbitfish an unusual source for ciguatera poisoning. There are no readily available and reliable means for detecting ciguatoxin in humans. A high index of suspicion is needed for diagnosis and a thorough differential diagnosis is essential to eliminate other poisonings, decompression sickness and encephalitis. Supportive therapy is the mainstay of treatment.

February 2000
Yona Amitai MD, Yedidia Bentur MD, Matityahu Lifshitz MD, Pinhas Fainmesser MD, David Applebaum MD, Yehezkel Waisman MD, Nadine Cohen and Samuel D. Oman PhD

Background: Extensive cleaning of homes in Israel before Passover may result in increased exposure of children to cleaning substances.

Objectives: To evaluate the potential danger of Passover cleaning to children, and to study the risk factors in order to identify areas for prevention.

Methods: All cases of poison exposure in Jewish and Arab children under the age of 15 years reported to the Israel Poison Information Center during 1990–95 (n= 5,583) were analyzed for the 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after Passover. Poison exposures in Jewish children <15 years old were studied in seven pediatric emergency rooms for the 2 weeks before and 6 weeks after Passover (n=123).

Results: The IPIC data showed a highly significant 38% increase in the average weekly poison exposure rate for the 2 weeks before Passover compared with the remaining 10 weeks.  Data recorded by the pediatric emergency rooms showed a twofold increase in cleaning substance poisoning during the 2 weeks before Passover compared with the following 6 weeks. The rise in exposures to cleaning substances was observed among children from secular, religious and ultra-orthodox families. In these exposures, the substance was found in open containers in 70% of cases. 

Conclusions: The extensive cleaning of homes among Jewish families in preparation for Passover poses the danger to young children of cleaning substance poisoning. Increasing public awareness, closer observation of children, and keeping these substances in closed containers should increase children’s safety during this annual cleaning.    

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IPIC = Israel Poison Information Center

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