Patterns of acute poisoning among children admitted to maternity and children, teaching hospital, Al Diwaniyah city, Iraq

  • Adel J. Hussein Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Al-Qadisiyah
Keywords: Acute Poisoning, Organophosphorous, Children, ncidence, Chemical, Drug, Al Diwaniyah


Acute poisoning, a common pediatric emergency, is one of the important causes of morbidity and mortality in children, especially in developing countries. The patterns of poisoning usually differ from country to country and from province to another within the same country. The purpose of this study was to clarify the characteristics of acute chemical and drug poisoning
cases admitted to the emergency department (ED) of maternity and children, teaching hospital in Al- Diwaniyah city and to compare poisoning characteristics between different age groups in the region. A review of medical records of 125 poisoning cases under 7 years of age, except for cases of food poisoning, snake bite, scorpion stings and cases with incomplete data were not included in this study, presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) during 2016 were determined .The mean age of all poisoned patients (mean ± standard deviation) was 2.26 ± 0.750.One hundred and twenty five children, forming 2.2% (125/5494) of total emergency unit admissions of all patients, were under seven years of age. Slightly more boys 71 (56.8%) than girls 54 (43.2%) were intoxicated with the male to female ratio of 1.3:1. The majority of all cases were due to accidental poisoning. In patients younger than one year of age 23(18.4%), of all poisonings were due to therapeutically error, 1 – 3 year 47 (37.6%), 4 – 7 year 55(44%). Chemical agents (58.4%) mostly kerosene (30.1%), agricultural pesticides/insecticides (19.1%), were the most frequent offending agent, followed by drugs comprised (41.6%), mostly due to Cold and cough medication (15.3%), The vast majority of these materials was stored in non-original containers, These drugs were available at home, being used either by the child or the parents and grandparents. The most common route of poisoning was ingestion of the poison (118 patients; 94.4%) and most were ingested inside the house (73.6%). No deaths were reported.
There were obvious seasonal variations and most cases were admitted during in summer (42.4%) and spring (29.6%). Patients from rural areas (57.6%) were more than the patients from the urban areas (42.4%). Effective health promotional programs for parents regarding poisoning hazards are needed to increase the awareness and reduce the incidence of poisoning among children in our region in addition correct dealing with the chemical materials. A relationship exists between the parents’ level of education and the occurrence of pediatric poisoning particularly mothers. Since the level of education in this study was lower in the mothers and for mothers are those
Who take primary care of children at home; they should be educated regarding care and prevention of lethal injuries to their children at home.