Background & Objective: Most of the acute poisonings are mild with no complication but in some rare cases they can be life threatening. About 70% of acute poisoning happens in children. More than 90% of these toxic exposures are incidental and easily preventable. The factors leading to acute poisoning are variable based on cultural and socioeconomic differences among the population. The increasing production and distribution of new drugs and chemicals change the etiologic factors. This study was conducted to investigate common acute poisonings and their victims in Tabriz.
Methods: In this retrospective study 306 cases of acute poisoning were reviewed from April 1999 to March 2002, in Tabriz Pediatric Medical Center. The factors that were considered included: age, gender, manner (incidental versus intentional), agents route of intoxication, residential area (rural versus urban), duration of admission, clinical presentation, date of first admission and mortality.
Results: 306 patients (53.3% male and 46.7% female) were studied in this research. Most of the cases (31%) were 1-2 years old, and the fewest (1.3%) were under 6 months of age. About 95% of the cases were incidental, and 5% intentional suicide attempts among children above 10 years of age. 63% of the subjects were living in Tabriz, 29.5% of them were from rural areas and the rest (7.5%) were dwelling small towns. Poisons in the order of prevalence included: drugs (45.5%), hydrocarbons (26%), organo phosphates (7%), atropinic material and datura intoxication (6%), Rodenticides (3.6%), Opiates (2.9%), Carbon monoxide (2.2%) and alcohol, mushrooms, animal bites, acids & alkalines (6.8%). Average duration of hospitalization was 2 days and the total mortality rate was 3 cases.
Conclusions: The most common etiologic factor was drug poisoning followed by hydrocarbons as the second most prevalent factor in this regard. It seems that mass media especially TV programs can play a key role to increase the public knowledge about this issue.