Poisoning emergency visits among children: a 3-year retrospective study in Qatar
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Background Poisoning in toddlers and infants is almost always unintentional due to their exploratory behavior, which is different from adults. The prevalence and background of childhood poisoning in Qatar is still unknown. The aim of this study is to explore the extent of childhood poisoning in Qatar and, specifically, to describe the frequency of poisoning as a cause of Accident & Emergency (A&E) admission, the demographic profile of affected patients, the circumstances leading to exposure, and the specific agents involved in poisoning among children under age 14 in our setting. Methods This study was a cross-sectional survey of children up to 14 years old utilizing retrospective data between October 2009 and October 2012. The data were collected from the childhood poisoning case registry and patient medical records at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit of all the Hamad Medical Corporation hospitals. Pharmacists reviewed all the handwritten medical records. Data written on the data collection form were transferred into excel and later into SPSS version 21. The data were analyzed using frequencies and percentages, and a chi-square test was used for categorical variables. Results Out of 1179 registered poisoning cases listed in the registry, only 794 cases (67.3 %) were usable and included in the final analysis. A&E admissions for unintentional poisoning for children accounted for 0.22 % of all A&E admissions from 2009 to 12. The majority of poisoning cases happened among children between 1 and 5 years old (n = 704, 59.7 %). Cases were more frequent among non-Qatari than Qatari children (39.4 % vs. 28.5 %). Most cases occurred in the living room (28.2 %) and typically took place in the afternoon (29.2 %). Analgesic and antipyretic medicines were the most common agents ingested by children (n = 194, 36.9 %), specifically paracetamol (n = 140, 26.6 %). Conclusions Cases of unintentional poisoning are higher among children aged 1 to 5 years, males and non-Qatari. Most cases occurred in the living room and typically took place in the afternoon. The most common type of poison ingested by children was medicines, i.e., analgesics and antipyretics, specifically paracetamol.
- Pharmacy Research [112 items ]