Objective To study acute drug poisoning in Sri Lankan children.
Design A prospective hospital based study.
Setting Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo.
Patients Children with suspected acute drug poisoning admitted to hospital from January 1985 to January 2000.
Results There were 622 children with acute drug poisoning. 469 (75%) children were less than 4 years of age. 190 (30.5%) children had ingested drugs for local use, 135 (22%) had ingested anticonvulsants, 122 (19.5%) had ingested psychiatric drugs and 165 (26. 5%) had ingested miscellaneous drugs. In 610 (98%) instances the drug ingestion took place indoors. In 81 (13%) cases the drug was mistakenly administered to the child by an adult. 28 (4.5%) children had ingested the drug due to mistaken identity. 25 (4%) children had deliberately ingested the drug. 3 (0.5%) children had been deliberately administered the drug by an adult. In 498 (80%) instances the drug was easily accessible to children. Lack of adult supervision was present in 523 (84%) cases.
Outcome There were 4 deaths. Mortality rate 0.6%.
Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2000; 29: 45-48