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Characterization of the suicide cases admitted to an emergency service in Turkey

Meltem Songur Kodik, Merve Akin Ozdemir

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Suicide attempts are multifaceted actions originating from a wide variety of socio-demographic and clinical factors. This study aimed to characterize suicide cases presented to the emergency service of a University Hospital in Turkey. This retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted by evaluating patients admitted to the emergency service. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square, and the Student’s t-test were used to compare groups. A total of 507 patients were admitted to the emergency department with a suicide attempt. Among the applicants, 383 (75.5%) were due to drug poisoning, 79 (15.6%) due to self-laceration, and 45 (8.9%) due to other reasons. Among the patients with drug self-poisoning, the most frequent intoxication was with multiple medications. Most of the patients were females, aged 26-44 years, single, unemployed, living with their family, attempted at home in weekdays, and accompanied by a family member in the emergency unit. Of the patients, 74 (14.6%) had a history of at least one previous suicide attempt. The total number of discharged patients was 438 (86.3%), while the remaining 69 (13.7%) were hospitalized, of whom 39 (56.5%) were males (p=0.004). The majority of hospitalized patients were in the 17-44-age interval. There was a significant difference between hospitalized and discharged patients concerning age groups (p=0.007). Also, a positive family history of a psychiatric disease was associated with the proportions of hospitalization (positive history: 14 (28.0%) hospitalizations vs. negative history: 55 (12.0%) hospitalizations) (p=0.002). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that suicide attempts with drugs was significantly associated with gender and accompanying alcohol use (p<0.05). In conclusion, close follow-up of the first attempters by their family physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists, as well as the education of families or inmates could be of benefit to prevent suicide attempts. Further research is recommended to enlighten social behaviors and ideations, leading to suicide attempts.

Key words: Suicide, attempted; emergencies; emergency outpatient unit; self-injurious behavior; observational study

Med-Science. 2021; 10(1): 141-6
Medicine Science Vol:10 Issue:1 Year:2021 PP:1–271
Posted in Vol: 10 Issue: 1 Year: 2021 March pp:1–271

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