Author(s): Shotar AM, Shotar AM
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To determine and present the pattern of poisoning with drugs in Princess Rahmat Hospital, Irbid, Jordan, and to assess the effects of variables such as age, season, gender and agent on poisoning frequency. METHODS: We performed this retrospective cross-sectional study on 126 cases of poisoning with drugs hospitalized in Princess Rahmat Teaching Hospital, Northern Jordan, during a 6-year period from 1996 to 2001. The data collected included: age, gender, seasonal variation, material ingested, symptomatic or not on admission, time and place of ingestion, history of similar problem among the patient or his siblings, whether the parent induced vomiting before seeking medical help or not and the outcome regarding mortality and morbidity. We considered chi-square and values for the statistical analysis. RESULTS: There were 126 children (<12 years of age) admitted during the study period. Among the children, 54 (42.9\%) were girls and 72 (57.1\%) were boys. The majority (89.7\%) was <6 years. There were seasonal variations of poisoning events with a higher frequency in the Spring (39\%) and in Summer (35\%). We considered severity mild in 60\%, moderate in 27\% and severe in 13\% of cases. The large majority of drugs were psychotropic agents (56\%) and principally diazepam's (39\%). Self-poisonings were the most frequent cause of poisonings among children <12 years of age (mostly accidental poisonings such as drug poisonings). None of the children died or had a permanent sequel. CONCLUSION: Although we recorded no deaths in this study, drug poisoning in children remains a frequent problem, highlighting the need to develop an education program on primary prevention in our region. Parental education and intensified child supervision are the indicated measures of prevention for unintentional poisoning.
This article was published in Saudi Med J
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research