Acute poisoning in a paediatric intensive care unit in Harare
MetadataShow full item record
Forty two cases of acute poisoning were studied retrospectively over a two year period (1990 to 1991, inclusive) in the paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU), at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare. This formed 8,6 pc of the total admissions into the unit over the same period. The four commonest types of poisons were organophosphates, 38,1 pc; paraffin, 26,2 pc; traditional medicines (muti), 14,3 pc and miscellaneous drugs, such as chloroquine, aspirin, chloropromazine, diazepam and gama-benzene, 9,5 pc. The results suggest poor living conditions, local beliefs, customs and ignorance of the dangers of chemicals, as the risk factors associated with acute poisoning. Eighty eight pc of all admissions were children below the age of five years. The mortality rate in this series was 21 pc. Compared to the overall mortality rate of all ICU admissions of 30,9 pc over the same period, death due to acute poisoning was 1,8 pc of all ICU deaths.