The purpose of this report is to provide descriptive data on unintentional and intentional poisoning in British Columbia (BC) for the period 2000 to 2005. Data reflect the incidence of poisoning mortality, hospital separations, poisonings attended by medical and paramedical services (i.e. BC Ambulance Services (BCAS), and the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre (DPIC)). Poisonings are described by age, sex, intent and substance.
Poisoning is a leading cause of both unintentional and intentional injury in BC, accounting for more than 20 percent of injury-related deaths and hospitalizations. During the study period there was, on average, each day in BC:
- At least 1 poisoning-related death
- 13 poisoning-related hospitaliztions
- 33 requests for BCAS to attend poisoning events
- 72 calls made to DPIC for information and advice
Any substance consumed in excess can result in poisoning. Substances resulting in poisonings and the populations at risk of poisoning vary greatly by intent and lethality.