Bagkround Unintentional ingestion of toxic substances (cigarette), drug overdose and mucosal injuries due to corrosive liquate (house cleaners, batteries) remains common paediatric problem, with estimated annual admissions 94/100,000 population.
Methods We retrospectively recorded all patients admitted due to drug overdose-toxic/corrosive substance ingestion to the 3rd Department of First Paediatrics, of the National University of Athens Greece, from 3/2012–3/2014.
Results In total 190 patients were recorded, with mean age 41 ± 39 months. The study population was further divided into 4 age-groups: babies (0–12 months), toddlers (1–3 years), prepubertal children (4–8 years) and teenagers (>9 years). Males were predominant in younger age (68%, 57% and 62% in group 1, 2 and 3 respectively), while females were predominant during pubertal age (75%), (p < 0.05). Babies’ main hospitalising reason was cigarette ingestion (55%). Toddlers were equally admitted due to cigarette (34%), corrosive liquate ingestion (22%) or drug overdose (33%). Drug overdose was mainly recorded in prepubertal children (60%), while teenagers mainly suffered by drug (45%) or alcohol overdose (40%), (p < 0.001). Regarding the duration of the hospitalisation, younger patients (groups 1, 2 and 3) discharged in <24 h (91%, 80% and 75% respectively), 55% of teenagers however had to stay for >24 h (p < 0.001). No differences were recorded regarding the socialeconomical/educational status of the families, notable is however that 27% of the patients were self-discharged, unlike doctors’ suggestions.
Conclusion Young males with unintentional cigarette ingestion/drug overdose, or teenage females with alcohol/drug overdose comprise the profile of our typical patient. Despite the initial family stress, 25% of the patients are shortly after admission self-discharged.