Objective: Various pharmaceuticals may be involved in pediatric intoxications, and treatment can be challenging for physicians. However knowledge of the clinical manifestations and prognosis of intoxication will be of assistance to physicians in conducting an appropriate clinical evaluation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the patient characteristics, outcomes and clinical features of pediatric intoxication.
Methods: One hundred eighty five children aged between 1 and 17 years with pharmaceutical intoxication (135 mild, 18 moderate, and 32 severe cases) were included in the study. Demographic characteristics, clinical features, and outcomes were compared between the subgroups of clinical severity and in terms of reasons for exposure.
Results: Suicidal behaviour was responsible for 61.1% and accidental exposure for 38.9% of intoxications. The drug group most frequently responsible for intoxication was analgesic-antipyretic medications. Clinical severity, length of hospitalization, and multiple drug intoxication rates were higher in the suicide group than in the accidental group (p=0.037, p=0.016, and p<0.001 respectively). Mortality occurred in one patient.
Conclusion: Analgesics and neurological system agents were responsible for the majority of intoxications. Intoxication for purposes of suicide resulted in longer hospital length of stay, and greater clinical severity than accidental poisoning. Understanding the differences between intentional and accidental intoxication may be assistance to physicians in performing appropriate assessments.