J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2017 Dec;15(2):140-147. 10.22537/jksct.2017.15.2.140.

Analysis of Characteristics in Children and Adolescents with Poisoning at Emergency Department

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea. hyunmin72@hanmail.net


This study was conducted to analyze the features of poisoning in individuals aged 0-18 years to understand the characteristics of potential victims and eventually prevent poisoning.
We retrospectively analyzed poisoned children and adolescents (0-18 years) who visited the emergency department of one tertiary hospital from January 2003 through December 2013. We collected data including their age, sex, reason for poisoning, components and dose of poison, results of treatment, and psychiatric diagnosis.
During the study period, there were 436 cases of poisoning (male 47.2% (n=206); female 52.8% (n=230)). Subjects were classified into four groups (0-1 years, 2-5 years, 6-12 years, 13-18 years). The most common cause of poisoning in all age groups was accidental poisoning (72.9%), but intentional poisoning increased as age increased (p < 0.001). Moreover, females were more often subject to intentional poisoning than males (p < 0.001). The most common poisoning material was drugs (41.7%). Among intentional poisoning patients, 62.7% patients had consulted a psychiatrist, and their most common diagnosis was adjustment disorder (44.6%).
The most common cause of poisoning in individuals aged 0-18 years was accidental poisoning, while intentional poisoning was most common among adolescents. Guardians should take care to prevent accidental poisoning, while psychiatric consultation and national moderation will be needed to prevent intentional poisoning.


Adolescent; Child; Poisoning; Psychiatry
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