Original Article

A Retrospective Study of Childhood Intoxication in the Zonguldak Region


  • Mehmet Karacı
  • Nihal Yıldız
  • Özge Metin
  • Mustafa Özçetin

Received Date: 20.12.2012 Accepted Date: 28.01.2013 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2013;12(3):145-149


Intoxication in childhood is an important health problem. The aims of this study are to determine the properties of intoxication cases that were treated and followed-up in our hospital and to be a guide for precautions.

Material and Methods:

Children who were hospitalised in the Bülent Ecevit University School of Medicine paediatric and paediatric intensive care units between January 2008 and October 2012 were included in the study. The necessary data were collected retrospectively by analysing the records of cases.


For the study, the files of 416 patients aged from 9 months to 16 years (mean 5.9±5.2 years) were scanned; 241 (57.9%) cases were female, 175 (42.1%) were male. Intoxication cases constituted 1.3% of all cases admitted to the children’s emergency unit over a five year period. A high proportion (66.8%) of intoxication cases were between 1 and 6 years of age. In 75.2% of cases, the reason for intoxication was an accident. Ninety-four of the one hundred and three (91.3%) patients that were intoxicated as a result of a suicide attempt were girls and all of them were over 10 years of age. The most common substance for intoxication was drugs (71.7%), followed by corrosives and cleaning substances (6.5%). Antidepressant drugs were the most common drug group (20.4%) that caused intoxication. Only two (0.4%) patients died during this period.


Poisoning shows a peak in two periods of childhood and adolescence in this study. We think that accidental ingestion in childhood may be prevented by parents’ education and simple precautions in general. In addition, we recommend that families should demonstrate appropriate approaches, especially with regards to the psychology of adolescent girls, and, if necessary, get help from a specialist.

Keywords: Intoxications, childhood, Zonguldak region