Factors associated with outcomes of children treated at an emergency department for nonpharmaceutical poison exposure

Jr Hau Wu, Han Ping Wu, Hsin Liang Liu, Mei Chueh Yang, Chu Chung Chou, Chin Fu Chang, Hsiu Min Lin, Tsung Hsien Tsai, Yan Ren Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of the study was to report detailed information on the patient characteristics, outcomes, and clinical features of pediatric nonpharmaceutical poisoning events treated at an emergency department in central Taiwan. Methods: This retrospective study comprised 76 children aged 18 years or under who attended the emergency department for treatment of nonpharmaceutical poison exposure. We reported the regional patient characteristics and pinpointed, using receiver operating characteristic analysis, the high risk associated with older individuals in terms of intentional poisoning. The poisonous materials involved could be divided into five main categories, and detailed information on this is provided. Further, the association between different poisoning categories and outcomes are analyzed. Finally, age-related risk factors including gender and the reason for the ingestion of poison are analyzed. Results: Cleansing products (39.5%), pesticides (28.9%), and industrial products (15.8%) were the three most common groups of items involved in non-pharmaceutical poisoning. Gaseous agents resulted in the longest hospitalization. Gastrointestinal symptoms (44.7%) were the most predominant clinical presentation. Most children (72.4%) presented with their major symptoms for less than 1 day. The incidence of exposure was highest among preschool children and adolescents. Intentional poisoning and female gender were significant factors among older children (both p < 0.05). Finally, children aged older than 11.5 years were found to have a high risk of intentional poisoning. Conclusions: The type of non-pharmaceutical poison predicts the outcomes of children who are poisoned. Being female and having undergone intentional poisoning have a higher prevalence among older children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acute Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 12 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Children
  • Cleaning products
  • Intentional poisoning
  • Nonpharmaceutical
  • Poison


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