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Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0104-4230On-line version ISSN 1806-9282


WERNECK, Guilherme Loureiro  and  HASSELMANN, Maria Helena. Profile of hospital admissions due to acute poisoning among children under 6 years of age in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2009, vol.55, n.3, pp.302-307. ISSN 0104-4230.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the profile of poisoning cases among children attended during three years at emergency hospitals in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. METHODS: All confirmed or suspected poisoning cases, due to drugs and biological substances; organic solvents and hydrocarbons; chemical products; carbon monoxide and other gases; and pesticides, were collected. RESULTS: 1,574 cases of poisoning in children up to 5 years of age were detected. Around 40% of the cases involved chemical products of domestic use, 35% were caused by drugs, and 15% by pesticides. More than half of pesticide poisonings involved the "chumbinho", an illegal product sold as a rodenticide, and usually including in its formulation a carbamate. Distribution of agents varied significantly by gender, the relative frequency of poisonings due to drugs and "chumbinho" being higher among females than males. Participation of chemical products of domestic use decreased with age, but the role of drugs increased as agents of poisoning. During the observation period there was no significant reduction in the total number of annual cases. CONCLUSION: Supporting the expansion of the network of Poison Control Centers, developing intervention for the production of safer packaging devices for drugs chemical products, suppressing the illegal commerce of "chumbinho", and fostering health education activities might contribute to modify this situation.

Keywords : Toxicology; Poisoning; Pesticides; Drugs; Accidents; Pediatrics.

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