Year: 2023 Source: Turkish Archives of Pediatrics. (2023). 58(2), 189-196. doi: 10.5152/TurkArchPediatr.2023.22206 SIEC No: 20230799

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of patients admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit for poisoning and the factors associated with their outcomes.

Materials and methods: Patients who were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for poisoning over the 11-year period between January 2010 and December 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. The patients’ demographic characteristics, poisoning agent, whether the poisoning was unintentional or intentional (suicide attempt), clinical findings at admission, indication for hospitalization, antidote administered, and supportive and extracorporeal treatments were examined.

Results: During the study period, poisonings accounted for 9.4% (436/4653) of pediatric intensive care unit admissions. Of these, 419 patients with complete records were included in the analysis. Drug poisonings accounted for 81.9% of cases (multiple drugs in 38.5%). The most common drug group was central nervous system drugs (47%). Of the symptomatic patients, 56.5% had central nervous system-related findings and 55% had gastrointestinal findings. Before pediatric intensive care unit admission, 52.7% of the patients received activated charcoal and 7.4% received antidote therapy. In the pediatric intensive care unit, 68.9% of patients received no medical treatment, while 71.5% of those who received medical treatment had organ involvement. Multivariate logistic regression analysis to predict whether patients will require treatment during the intensive care follow-up showed that antidote administration before pediatric intensive care unit admission was associated with the need for medical treatment (odds ratio: 25.6, 95% CI: 6.8-96, P < .05). Three patients died, and the mortality rate was 0.72%.

Conclusion: Childhood poisoning is a widespread and important problem. Effective management in pediatric emergency and intensive care units contributes to patient survival without sequelae.