University of Khartoum

Accidental Poisoning of Children Presenting to Emergency Departments in Khartoum State

Accidental Poisoning of Children Presenting to Emergency Departments in Khartoum State

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Title: Accidental Poisoning of Children Presenting to Emergency Departments in Khartoum State
Author: Nuha Abdel Gha ffar M. Ali Nimeri
Abstract: Accidental poisoning remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children world wide. Its importance lies in its nature of being preventable. The objectives of this descriptive and prospective hospitalbased study were to: (a) determine the magnitude of accidental poisoning among children presenting to some emergency departments in Khartoum State, (b) study the types, clinical patterns, short term complications and outcome of accidental poisoning in children, (c) assess the associated circumstances that predisposes to accidental poisoning and (d) study the different treatment protocols used in different hospitals. During a one- year period a total of 120 patients were admitted to the emergency units suffering from accidental poisoning. The most (74%) affected age group was 1-5 years. The male: female ratio was 2:1. Eighty one (67.5%) cases were coming from semi urban areas. The majority (93.3%) were preschool children. The highest rate of poisoning was found in families with small number of children; this relationship was found to be statically significant (p<0.0001). Parents illiteracy was also found to be a significant factor (p<0.001).Drug poisoning constituted 58.3%, tricyclic antidepressant (6.6%) topped the drug list followed by anticonvulsants (5.8%). Kerosene was the most common (43.3%) causative substance encountered in poisoning. Eighty three percent of the children witnessed another family member taking drugs and in 91.6% of cases the drug was belonging to a family member in the same household. Ninety percent of the substances encountered were kept within reach of children. Parents Knowledge, attitude and practice of drug management was deficient in 60% of cases. The peak times of the events were 10.00 a.m and 14.00p.m. Sixty nine (57.5%) patients arrived at hospital within the first two hours of poisoning .Upon arrival 71.7% were symptomatic. The most commonly presenting symptoms and signs were those of respiratory (n=84, 70%) and neurological (n=72, 60%).Vomiting was the presenting symptom in 45(37.5%) cases, while 24 (20%) presented with fever. Gastric lavage was performed in 41 (35%) children, while the remainder received supportive treatment in form of IV antibiotics and fluids. Recovery was uneventful in all cases with the exception of 5(3%) deaths. The need for structured health education programs as well as a National Poisoning Bureau can not be over emphasized. Large scale community – based research is needed to reveal the real magnitude of the problem.
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/handle/123456789/8340
Date: 2015-04-06


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