Ohio Injuries: Poisonings

In Ohio, there are more deaths caused by poisonings than by any other type if injury. Annually, an average of over 1,500 Ohioans die as a result of poisonings, and the number of fatalities from unintentional poisonings increased 34% from 2005 to 2007. Prevention efforts need to be increased to address this growing problem. The following data come from the Injury in Ohio report.*

Health Care Resource Utilization

  •  From 2005 through 2007, injuries due to poisonings resulted in an annual average of:
    • 23,091 Emergency Department Visits
    • 3,475 EMS Runs
    • 11,888 Inpatient Hospitalizations
    • 1,568 Fatalities

  • From 2005 to 2007, the number of unintentional poisonings increased by 22.2%, and the number of self-inflicted poisonings increased by 29.1%
  • Adults ages 25-44 years accounted for 25.1% of unintentional poisoning cases seen in the emergency department, followed closely by children ages 0-4 years at 22.3%
  • Among self-inflicted poisonings, young adults ages 15-24 years accounted for 38.2% of annual cases, followed by adults ages 25-34 years with 21.3%


  • Poisoning-related hospitalizations from 2005 to 2007 accounted for an annual average of:
    • $124 million in hospital charges
    • Nearly 31,000 days of hospitalization

  • Mean hospital charges per inpatient admission were 9.272 for self-inflicted poisonings and $11,778 for unintentional poisonings

  • The number of hospitalizations due to unintentional poisonings rose 33.1%, and self-inflicted poisoning hospitalizations increased 13.6% from 2005 to 2007
  • The majority of poisoning hospitalizations was due to self-inflicted poisonings (annual average of 56.9%), and another 32.0% were unintentional poisonings
  • Females accounted for 51.6% of unintentional poisoning hospitalizations and 61.6% of self-inflicted poisoning hospitalizations
  • More than 92% of unintentional poisoning patients were discharged home from the emergency department, compared with only 55.5% of self-inflicted poisoning patient


  • On average, there were 1,267 unintentional poisoning deaths and 254 poisoning-related suicides annually
  • Each year, nearly 64% of poisoning-related deaths were male, and 86.6% were adults ages 25-64 years

  • Fatalities due to unintentional poisonings increased by 34.1% from 2005 to 2007

*Data for this report were obtained from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Department of Health. This research brief is part of a series reporting on leading causes of injury among selected age groups in Ohio.