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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Retrospective study of paracetamol poisoning in children aged zero to six years found no cases of liver injury

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AIM: This study focused on children aged zero to six years with suspected single-dose paracetamol poisoning, which has not been investigated in Denmark. We evaluated the incidence of liver injuries and the use of activated charcoal and N-acetylcysteine treatment.

METHODS: Our retrospective study was performed in three paediatric hospital centres from 2001 to 2012. Data on symptoms, time of ingestion, blood biochemistry, treatment and adverse reactions were collected. The results were evaluated against the Rumack-Matthew nomogram.

RESULTS: We identified 221 children (58% male), with a mean age of 2.67 ± 1.05 years. Activated charcoal treatment was given in 87% of cases, but only 15% of the children received treatment within one hour of the suspected paracetamol poisoning. Although 80% of the children received N-acetylcysteine treatment, only one case (0.5%) had a toxic plasma paracetamol level according to the treatment nomogram. Abdominal pain or vomiting was associated with higher paracetamol levels in plasma. None of the children developed liver injuries.

CONCLUSION: We found a low incidence of significant poisoning and liberal use of N-acetylcysteine and activated charcoal treatment in Danish children aged zero to six years with suspected paracetamol poisoning. Vomiting or abdominal pain was associated with elevated plasma paracetamol levels. No liver injuries were reported.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Pædiatrica
Volume107
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1775-1780
ISSN1651-2227
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 53794363