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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 201-205

Accidental poisoning among under-five children seen at the children's emergency room of Federal Medical Center Umuahia, Nigeria

Department of Pediatrics, Federal Medical Center, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C A Ibeneme
Department of Pediatrics, Federal Medical Center, Umuahia, Abia State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4314/jcm.v23i1.6

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Background: Accidental poisoning among under-five children remains a recognized cause of morbidity and/or mortality with highest rates in low-income countries. Its prevalence and types vary from place to place with the presenting features ranging from mild to near-fatal symptoms. Aim: To document the frequency and pattern of accidental poisoning among under-five children seen at the Children's Emergency Room of the Federal Medical Center, Umuahia. Methods: This is a retrospective review of the cases of under-fives with accidental poisoning over an eight-year period (January 2009 to December 2016). Information such as age, gender, type of poison, presenting features, type of home remedy and outcome were retrieved. Results: Of the 9,492 under-fives seen during this period, 53 (0.6%) had accidental poisoning. The mean age was 21.2± 10.1 months and male-to-female ratio was 1.8:1. The mean duration from the time of the incident to presentation was two hours. Most common route of poisoning was ingestion (93.4%) and kerosene was the most common substance ingested. Presenting features ranged from mild symptoms such as fever and vomiting, to fatal symptoms such as seizures and coma. Palm oil (83.3%) and coconut water (16.7%) administered orally were the most common forms of home remedies. One of the patients was managed in ICU and there was no documented mortality. Conclusion: Accidental poisoning remains a common paediatric emergency room presentation and kerosene ingestion is the commonest type of presentation. Early presentation and prompt intervention may help to reduce morbidity and/or mortality.

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