Poisoning in Children: a 4-Year Review (2006–2009) on Cases Reported to the National Poison Centre of Malaysia

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Journal of Medical Toxicology, 2012, Volume 8, Number 2, Pages :208-209
Year of Publication: 
2012
Authors: 
Nur Afni A
National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia , Penang, Malaysia
Rahmat A
National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia , Penang, Malaysia
Zyoud SH
National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia , Penang, Malaysia
Current Affiliation: 
Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Sulastri S
National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia , Penang, Malaysia
Haslina H
National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia , Penang, Malaysia
Sazaroni MR
National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia , Penang, Malaysia
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

Objective: Poisoning involving children continues to represent the major poisoning emergency reported to the National Poison Centre (NPC). A better understanding of the pattern of acute poisoning in children is an important preventive strategy. The aim of this study is to elucidate the prevailing trend of acute poisoning in children based on the poisoning cases reported to the NPC. Methods: Cases of acute poisoning involving children reported to the NPC between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2009 were reviewed. Paediatric age groups were classified into four categories according to the IPCS-INTOX Data Management System (1 day–4 weeks: neonates; 4 weeks–12 months: infants; 1–4 years: toddlers; and 5–14 years: children). Age, date of exposure, reason of exposure, and type of substance involved in the exposure were evaluated. SPSS version 15 was used for descriptive analysis of the data collected.
Results: A total of 2,468 calls on poisoning involving children exposures were received, making up about 26.2 % of the total cases of poisoning during the study period. Of the total poisoning cases involving children, 1,593 (60.1 %) were in the toddler age group. Most calls were made by medical doctors 2,445(99.0 %). The number of poisoning calls was found to have significantly increased yearly from 385 calls (16 %) in 2006 to 902 calls (37 %) in 2009 (p < 0.001). The largest contributing factors in children poisoning was pharmaceutical substances, household chemicals and pesticide, which accounted for 968 (39.2 %), 906 (36.7 %), and 440 (17.8 %) cases, respectively. Majority of the exposures occurred at home 233 (94.6 %), through oral ingestion 2,432 (98.5 %), and were due to accidental poisoning 2,107 (85.3 %). Information on the patient’s outcome was not available
Conclusion and Recommendation: The increased number in poisoning calls involving children is alarming and should be highlighted at the national level for preventive strategy to be established. Since cases handled by the NPC constitutes a proportion of all poisoning cases handled by the emergency department, a national study on the magnitude of poisoning with respect to the household chemicals and medication use should be carried out.

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