Original Article

Utility of Bedside Urine Toxicology Screening Test in Emergency Department: A Retrospective Study


  • Gul Pamukcu Gunaydin
  • Gulhan Kurtoglu Celik
  • Teoman Ersen
  • Alp Sener
  • Ayhan Ozhasenekler
  • Servan Gokhan

Received Date: 03.07.2018 Accepted Date: 18.07.2018 Cyprus J Med Sci 2018;3(2):98-102


In this retrospective study, our goal was to describe the use of urine toxicology screening (UTS) tests in patient management in an urban training and research hospital’s Emergency Department (ED).


This is a retrospective observational descriptive file review. All patients aged ≥16 who were admitted to the ED between March 2013 and March 2017 for any complaint and who were ordered a urine drug screening test were included in the study.


A total of 1866 patient files were included in the statistical analysis. The median age of 1866 included patients was 29 (16–99). 66.9% (n=1248) of patients were male. Of the 1866 patients, 26.7% (n=499) tested positive for at least one drug. There was no statistically significant difference between the ward hospitalization, intensive care unit hospitalization, and discharge or death rates among patients who tested positive for at least one drug and patients who tested negative for all drugs (χ2 p=0.097). Drug positivity was significantly higher in forensic cases, in patients who attempted suicide, and in patients who were in a rehabilitation program.


The UTS testing is a controversial subject in ED. Our results do not support its use with clinical curiosity being the only reason to order the test. The UTS testing may be more useful in targeted populations in ED.

Keywords: Emergency medicine, toxicology screening, urine