Objectives & Background Following the near fatal aspiration of a liquitab in RBHSC, a review of the department's management of this increasingly common issue was undertaken.
The aims of the audit were:
1) Identify the frequency of liquitab injuries
2) Assess the range of injuries caused by liquitabs
Methods The electronic system uses to register and track patients (Symphony) was used to collect the data. Data was reviewed for the years 2012/2013. Cases were included only if the injury was due to a liquitab.
Results 275 cases were identified from the preliminary search. 40 of these were documented liquitab injuries (15% of non-medicinal ingestions).
Type of injury:
Ingestion – 28/40 (70%) and eye injury – 12/40 (30%). No children had inhalation or skin injury noted.
–17/28 (60%) of these patients presented with vomiting. Treatment was supportive in all cases.
– Eye irrigation was carried out 100%
– pH was tested 11/12 cases
– Corneal abrasion was seen in 2 cases
– Ophthalmology were involved in 7 cases (58%)
–95% (38/40) of children were discharged after observation
–2.5% admitted (1/40) under ophthalmology
–2.5% (1/40) of discharged from triage; described as low risk
–12.5% (5/40) had follow up appointments with ophthalmology the following day
Explanation of injury: Unsupervised play in 37.5% (15/40) with the remainder not documented.275 cases were identified from the preliminary search. 40 of these were documented liquitab injuries (15% of non-medicinal ingestions).
Conclusion The results highlight the difficulties that children can encounter from liquitab injuries. The colourful nature, “sweet-like” appearance and soft texture of liquitab detergents make them appealing to young children. A key issue was to improve parental awareness. We have achieved this via a national press release through Rospa,(Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents), BBC news interviews and national press articles.
- emergency departments
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