Frequency and Management of Acute Poisoning Among Children Attending an Emergency Department in Saudi Arabia
Mansour Tobaiqy, Bandar A. Asiri, Ahmed H. Sholan, Yahya A. Alzahrani, Ayed A. Alkatheeri, Ahmed M. Mahha, Shamsia S. Alzahrani, Katie MacLure
Acute poisoning is one of the common medical emergencies in children that leads to morbidity and mortality. Medications and chemical agents play a major role in these adverse events resulting in social, economic, and health consequences. Aims of the study: This study aimed to evaluate the frequency and management of acute poisoning among children attending the emergency room at East Jeddah Hospital, Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia. Methods: This study was a retrospective chart review of all acute
... atric poisoning incidences in children (0–16 years of age) from October-21-2016 to March-03-2020 who were attending the emergency department. Data were analyzed via SPSS software. Results: A total of 69 incidences of acute poisoning in children who attended the emergency department at East Jeddah Hospital; males (n = 38, 55.1%). Most children were aged 5 years or younger (n = 41, 59.4%). Unintentional poisoning occurred among 56.5% of observed cases of which 52.2% occurred in children younger than 5 years; 7.20% (n = 5) of patients were 12 to 16 years of age and had deliberate self-poisoning. The association between type of poisoning and age groups was statistically significant (chi-square = 28.5057, p = 0.0001). Most incidences occurred at home (n = 64, 92.8%). Medicines were the most common cause of poisoning (n = 53, 76.8%). An excessive dose of prescribed medicine poisoning accidents was reported in 10.1% cases. Analgesics such as paracetamol were the most documented medication associated with poisoning (39.1%) followed by anticonvulsants and other central nervous system acting medicines (18.8%). The most common route of poisoning was oral ingestion (81.2%). One mortality case was documented. Conclusion: Although not common, accidental and deliberate acute poisoning in children does occur. More can be done to educate parents on safe storage of medicines, household cleaning and other products associated with acute poisoning in children. Likewise, children can be taught more about the risks of poisoning from an early age. As importantly, clinicians need to include more detailed notes in the electronic medical records (EMR) or the system needs to be improved to encourage completeness to more accurately inform the research evidence-base for future service design, health policy and strategy.