Background: Carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the most common causes of unintentional poisonings resulting in death. Patients with more severe findings such as loss of consciousness and persistent neurological or cardiovascular dysfunction require hospitalization. Although there are clinical findings which determine hospitalization criteria in patients presenting with CO poisoning, there is some ambiguity regarding laboratory biomarkers which determine length of hospital stay (LOS) in these patients. In this study, we aimed to identify the effectiveness of initial blood gases and biochemical parameters in predicting LOS in patients presenting to the emergency department with CO poisoning by retrospective analysis of medical records.
Methods: This study was conducted in the Emergency Department (ED) of Samsun Training and Research Hospital by analyzing from medical records retrospectively of 275 patients who were admitted to the hospital following acute CO poisoning between January 2014 and July 2017. The patients were divided into 3 groups according to LOS: Group I, patients with LOS < 24 hours; group II, those with LOS > 24 hours and < 3 days; and group III, those with LOS > 3 days.
Results: In comparisons regarding lactate and troponin-I, it was found that there were significant differences in both parameters among the three groups (p = 0.000) and that both lactate and troponin-I levels were higher in group III than groups I and II, with group I being lowest (group III > group II > group I). While there was a mod¬erate positive statistically significant correlation between LOS and lactate (r: 0.43, p = 0.001) and troponin (r: 0.31, p = 0.001), a weak positive correlation was determined with CK (r: 0.19, p = 0.04). In this study, it was found that lactate and troponin-I values were more effective in predicting LOS when compared to carboxyhemoglobin levels and other biochemical parameters.
Conclusions: The results of this study may guide clinicians to predict LOS in patients who present with CO poi-soning and have high troponin-I and lactate levels at the time of admission to EDs.