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Poison exposure and outcome of children admitted to a pediatric emergency department 
 
Poison exposure and outcome of children admitted to a pediatric emergency department
  Yan-Ren Lin, Tung-Kung Wu, Tzu-An Liu, Chu-Chung Chou, Han-Ping Wu
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Author Affiliations: Department of Emergency Medicine, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan, China (Lin YR, Chou CC); Department of Pediatrics, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taichung Branch, Taichung, Taiwan, China (Wu HP); Department of Biological Science and Technology and Institute of Biochemical Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, China (Lin YR, Wu TK); Institute of Cellular and System Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli County, Taiwan, China (Liu TA); Institute of Medicine, Chungshan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, China (Chou CC); Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (Wu HP); Department of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan, China (Wu HP)

 

Corresponding Author: Dr. Han-Ping Wu, Department of Pediatrics, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taichung Branch, Taichung, No.66, Sec. 1, Fongsing Rd., Tanzih Township, Taichung County 42743, Taiwan, China (Tel: 886-4-36060666; Fax: 886-4-36021123; Email: arthur1226@gmail.com)

doi: 10.1007/s12519-011-0267-7

Background: This paper reports the characteristics, outcomes and clinical features of children with poisoning treated at an emergency department (ED).

Methods: This retrospective study at an emergency department consisted of 140 children with poison exposure who were aged under 18 years. Their characteristics were analyzed in order to understand the differences between accidental and non-accidental poisoning. The poisonous materials were divided into two major categories (pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceuticals) and their associations with patient outcomes were analyzed. Furthermore, the association was analyzed between the incidence of poison exposure and the season in which the poison exposure occurred.

Results: The incidence of poison exposure was highest among adolescents and pre-school age children. Non-accidental poisoning was more common in older girls and accidental poisoning was more common in younger boys (P<0.001). Neurological system agents were the most common cause of poisoning in the pharmaceutical group and cleansing products were the most common cause of poisoning in the non-pharmaceutical group. Neurological and gastrointestinal symptoms were the most common clinical presentations for the pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical groups, respectively. Furthermore, poisoning due to cleansing products and analgesics were associated with the longest duration of hospitalization. March was the highest risk month for pediatric poisoning (P=0.018).

Conclusions: Cleansing products and analgesics were associated with the longest duration of hospitalization and intentional poison was more common in girls.

Key words: children; cleansing products; duration of hospitalization; non-pharmaceuticals;  pharmaceuticals; poison  

World J Pediatr 2011;7(2):143-149

 
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