Stead Family Department of Pediatrics

  • Poisoning: Prevention and Treatement

    Rationale

    Poisonings and ingestions are major preventable causes of childhood morbidity and mortality. Poison control centers across the U.S. receive more than 2 million calls a year regarding accidental ingestions and exposures to toxic material. Poison prevention counseling has a major positive impact on reduction of poisoning. 

    Objectives

    • Describe the epidemiology of poisoning and ingestions:
      • Explain why infants, toddlers and young children are especially vulnerable for unintentional ingestions and poisoning.
      • Discuss the reasons for intentional ingestions in adolescents, including risk taking, experimentation, substance abuse, and suicide.
      • Identify the environmental sources of lead and discuss the clinical and social impact of lead poisoning.
    • Outline strategies for poison prevention at all ages.
    • Describe the clinical manifestations, toxicity, and basic management of
      • Ingestions of acetaminophen, aspirin, caustic agents, hydrocarbons, iron, lead and tricyclic antidepressants.
      • Exposure to carbon monoxide.
    • Know the indications, contraindications and appropriate use of
      • Syrup of ipecac
      • Gastric lavage
      • Activated charcoal
      • Specific antidotes
    • Describe the resources available to the physician for acute poisoning management, including Poison Information Centers and textbooks.