Patterns of Acute Poisoning in Childhood and Relative Factors in Zahedan, Southeast Iran.


B Narouie ** , +

How to Cite: Narouie B. Patterns of Acute Poisoning in Childhood and Relative Factors in Zahedan, Southeast Iran., Shiraz E-Med J. Online ahead of Print ; 13(1):20479.


Shiraz E-Medical Journal: 13 (1); 19-27
Published Online: January 1, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: April 7, 2011
Accepted: October 29, 2011


Background: Acute poisoning, a common pediatric emergency, is one of the important causes of morbidity and mortality in children, especially in developing countries. Thousands of un-wary children under the age of five years are poisoned accidentally every year throughout world.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included children with acute poisoning admit-ted to Ali ebn-e Abitaleb hospital of Zahedan. All cases of poisoning, except for food poison-ing, in patients under 17 years old presenting to Pediatrics Emergency Department (PED) from April 2008 to April 2009 were selected. The information about each case was recorded on standardized forms. Complete epidemiological and clinical data were obtained for 147 patients.

Results: The mean age of all poisoned patients (mean SD) was 2.93 3.05 years, and the age range was 0.12 to 14 years. Of these, 59 children (86.8%) were under five years of age. Slightly more boys than girls were poisoned at ages of more than 10 years (8.5% vs. 4.68%). The majority of all cases were due to accidental poisoning (86.8% of all poisoning), which occurred mostly in children under five years old (93%). Medications (37.41%), kero-sene (23.12), opium/hashish (17.68%), agricultural pesticides (6.8%), unknown substances (5.44%), and caustic/corrosive substances (4.76%) were the most frequent poisoning agents. The frequency distribution shows that the majority of parents of poisoned children had below grade school levels of literacy (84.6%), while only 6% of parents had collegiate literacy.

conclusion: Most of the poisonings were due to accidental ingestions by infants and primary school age children, without any gender predilection. Medications (especially benzodiazepi-nes), opium/hashish, and kerosene were the most commonly ingested agents. The majority of parents of poisoned patients had below grade school levels of literacy, so early awareness of poisoning and appropriate therapeutic measures taken would appear to be efficacious in reducing the incidence of acute poisoning and the mortality rate.

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