UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Socioeconomic factors and substances involved in poisoning-related emergency department visits in British Columbia, Canada Pawer, Samantha; Rajabali, Fahra; Zheng, Alex; Pike, Ian; Purssell, Roy; Zargaran, Atousa; Babul, Shelina


Canada’s opioid crisis has taken thousands of lives, increasing awareness of poisoning-related injuries as an important public health issue. However, in British Columbia (BC), where overdose mortality rates are the highest in Canada, studies have not yet identified which demographic populations most often visit emergency departments (ED) due to all poisonings, nor which substances are most commonly involved. The aim of this study was to explore these gaps, after developing a methodology for calculating ED visit rates in BC. A methodology for estimating ED visit rates in BC was developed and applied to determine poisoning-related ED visit rates among various demographic groups within BC. British Columbians most vulnerable to poisoning have been identified, emphasizing the need for efforts to limit drug overdoses and excessive alcohol intoxication to reduce rates of these preventable injuries.

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