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Journal Article


Ko Y, Jeon W, Choi YJ, Yang H, Lee J. Medicine (Baltimore) 2021; 100(40): e27485.


(Copyright © 2021, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)






Pharmaceutical poisoning in children is almost unintentional and there are various types of drug out of curiosity. Understanding the attractive features and formulation of drugs related to poisoning in younger children may be helpful in treatment and prevention of poisoning. To investigate the impact of drug formulation on outcomes of pharmaceutical poisoning in young children.We retrospectively reviewed the data of pharmaceutical exposures among children who were registered in a Korean 23-center, emergency department (ED) based registry from 2011 to 2016. Our study was conducted on preschool children aged 0 to 7 years. According to the formulation and category of the ingested drugs, the exposures were divided into the "tablet and capsule (TAC)" and "syrup" groups. In the TAC group, we additionally recorded data on the shape, color, and size of the drugs. The ED outcomes, such as hospitalization and length of stay, were compared between the 2 groups.Among the 970 enrolled exposures, 674 (69.5%) were classified into the TAC group. In this group, hormones/hormone antagonists (18.5%) were the most commonly ingested, followed by central nervous system drugs (17.1%). In the syrup group, antihistamines (28.4%) were the most commonly ingested, followed by respiratory drugs (24.3%). The TAC group showed a higher hospitalization and transfer rate to tertiary centers than the counterpart (TAC, 18.0% vs syrup, 11.5%, P = .03) without a significant difference in the length of stay (TAC, 173.5 minutes [interquartile range, 95.0-304.0] vs syrup, 152.5 [77.5-272.0]; P = .08). No in-hospital mortality occurred in the exposures. Round-shaped and chromatic TACs, accounting for 91.7% (618) and 56.1% (378), respectively, were more commonly ingested. The median size of the TACs was less than 1.0 cm.Young children who visited the ED ingested TACs more frequently than syrups, particularly small, round-shaped, or chromatic drugs, leading to a higher hospitalization rate. Our findings can contribute to prevention strategies and safety education on childhood drug poisoning.

Language: en


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