Author(s): Meyer S, Eddleston M, Bailey B, Desel H, Gottschling S, , Meyer S, Eddleston M, Bailey B, Desel H, Gottschling S,
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Abstract Despite the major reduction in fatal paediatric poisonings that has been achieved in industrialised countries over the last few decades, unintentional paediatric poisoning remains a major public health issue worldwide. In this article, we aim to provide clinicians dealing with poisoned children an overview of the problem and specific guidance on the identification and management of significant poisoning. Substances most frequently ingested by children in the developed world include household chemicals, medication, and plants. Although the great majority of such poisonings have no or limited clinical effects, it puts substantial burden on health care systems. Importantly, a few poisons can kill after ingestion of very small amounts. Unintentional poisoning in developing countries can be much more serious, following ingestion of kerosene, caustic agents, herbal remedies, insecticides or herbicides. Management of symptomatic patients involves supportive care, if available the administration of antidotes, and the removal of the offending drug from the body. Recent position papers on gastric decontamination indicate that such interventions are only rarely necessary. To further reduce the number of deaths and disabilities in the industrialised world and to begin to have an effect in the developing world, much more work is required to both identify and implement prevention strategies to reduce the number of cases of paediatric poisoning.
This article was published in Klin Padiatr
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research