THE CLINICO-DEMOGRAPHIC PATTERN AND OUTCOME OF ACUTE CHILD-HOOD POISONING.
Background: Acute poisoning in children is the third most common emergency with significant economical burden. Objectives: This study was carried out to elucidate the clinical and demographic pattern and outcome of acute poisoning in children at local University Hospital of South Punjab. Study Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Pediatric Medicine Department of Nishtar Medical University, Multan. Study Period: January 1st – December 31st 2016. Materials and Methods: This one year hospital based study included 74 children up to 12 years admitted with acute poisoning. The data was extracted from clinical charts. Clinical, demographic and outcome data was extracted and analyzed. Mean and standard deviation are calculated for continuous variables and frequencies with percentages for categorical variables. The data is presented in tables and figures. Results: A total of 74 children with poisoning were admitted during study period (total admission–3107) giving annual incidence of 2.38 %. Males predominated (n=49, 66 %) the study population. Fifty four percent (n=40) of the children were in 13 – 59 months age group. Majority of the children were admitted due to accidental poison ingestion (n=65, 87.8%), through emergency (n=68, 92%) department, brought from urban areas (n=38, 51.4%), and within 1 hour of exposure (n=41, 55.4%). Most common poisons ingested were pesticides (n=29, 39%), kerosene oil (n=13, 17.57%) and Paraphenylene diamine (Kala pathar) (n=11, 14.86%). Most common system specific symptoms belonged to cardiovascular system (54 %) followed by nervous system (51 %) and respiratory system (42 %). Median hospital stay of the poisoning cases was 2 days (min. 1, max. 17). Poisoning associated mortality rate was 16.2 % (n=12). Kala pathar ingestion was the only significant factor associated with mortality (p-value 0.04). Conclusion: Accidental ingestion of non – pharmacological agents at home is most common in children < 5 years of age at our set – up. Mortality rate due to acute poisoning is high in children. Parents education for safe placement of poisoning agents, set – up of regional poison control centers and healthcare workers training on management of such cases will help curtailing this problem.