Diagnosis of exogenous intoxication prevention in Pediatric Outpatient Clinic in the 1990’s [Abstract in English]

Margareth Rodrigues Salerno, Renato Machado Fiori, Airton Tetelbom Stein


Aims: To evaluate the knowledge of parents of children from 0 to 7 years old who had an appointment at the outpatient clinic of Hospital São Lucas da PUCRS about prevention of exogenous poisoning at home environment, identifying if parents were receiving preventive orientation about intoxication during the consultation.
Methods: Parents were selected and interviewed when they brought their children to the pediatric outpatient clinic appointment, previously scheduled, during the first semester of 1996. The method used for collecting data was systematic sampling, with interviews through a structured questionary. The data was processed with the Epi Info Program 6.0 and SPSS 7.5. For comparisons chi-square test and the Fisher’s exact test were used. Relative risk with the confidence intervals of 95% was also used.
Results: A total of 309 families were interviewed, and in 175 (56.6%) the child was a boy. The median age of children was 13 months. Mean age of fathers and mothers were 30.2 years and 26.7 years, respectively. Most of the parents (53,3%) had incomplete elementary school. We have found that 184 (59.5%) of the interviewed subjects stored their home cleaning products in potentially dangerous places and 113 (36.6%) of them stored the drugs used by the family in unsafe places. Although 82,2% of the subjects interviewed were aware that some ornamental domestic plants could be poisonous, 48.3% of them had at least one toxic plant at home. The majority of subjects interviewed (224 – 72,5%) would look for an emergency service of any hospital in case of an intoxication. No subjects mentioned Toxicological Information Center as a place to call in emergency. Two hundred twenty four (95,3%) subjects mentioned that any health professional had ever spoken to them about intoxication. From the total subjects studied, 76.4% had taken their children to pediatric consultation in the last three months. In regards to orientation for the prevention of poisoning at the pediatric outpatient clinic, from the 211 who had taken medical advice in the last three months, 93.4% had not received any information. Only 3 (1%) knew about ipeca syrup and 14 (4.5%) had already suffered from a poisoning episode. None of the parents were adequately informed about intoxication.
Conclusions: Parents had little knowledge on prevention of exogenous intoxication and the majority of parents stored home cleaning products and medications in potentially dangerous places, and had poisonous plants at home. Health professionals were not giving preventive orientation to the families regarding exogenous intoxication.

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