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Study of Acute Alcohol Poisoning in Children Admitted to a Emergency Hospital Pirogov in Sofia, Bulgaria

Keywords: alcohol , child , intoxication , prevention , emergency.

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Aim. The aim of the current study is to analyze the medical and social dimensions of acute alcohol poisoning in children with regard of improving prevention of addictive habitis and develop effective preventative strategies for reducing underage alcohol consumption.Methods. We have studied the patients at the age up to 18 years with acute alcohol poisoning hospitalized in the Children Toxicology Department of Emergency Hospital Pirogov, Sofia, Bulgaria, from January 1, 2007 to June 31, 2008. All of them were at teen years – between 12 and 17 years old. Data on children were retrived from hospital medical records (age, sex, level of consciousness, blood ethanol level). The initial blood ethanol level was measured on admission by thin-layer chromatography for each patient. We have used the inquiry method - specially created for the purpose of the survey questionnaire comprising 39 questions (location and the reason for drinking, type of alcoholic beverage, age at first drink, combination alcohol-illicit drug, type of family, education and employment of parents, frequency of alcohol consumption by parents, consecutiveness of the children in family, presence of siblings, presence of children in a single room, interests etc.). Psychiatric interview was used. Results. We have studied 137 children with acute alcohol poisoning. Average age of children intoxicated by alcohol was 14.91±1.45 years. 77 (56.2%) are boys and 60 (43.8%) girls. The results demonstrate tendency of increase of the poisonings in weekends and in late afternoon and evening. On admission to hospital most of them had different levels of depressed consciousness: 61.3% were somnolent, 28.5% were soporous and 5.1% were comatose. Blood ethanol level was over 2.00 mg/ml in 40.2%. In the 21 (15.3%) cases children have been poisoned at the first alcohol consumption. No repeated hospitalization for acute alcohol poisoning in the study group for that period has been registered. Combination alcohol-illicit drug was observed in 13 children (9.5%). Children most often used one type of alcoholic beverage. The most frequent alcoholic beverage leading to intoxication is the vodka (63.1%). 64% of the children come from complete families. Both parents have secondary education in 79.7% and in 53.3% both parents are employed. 60% were the first born child in the family. First alcohol consuption was at the12 years and 10 months for boys, and at 13 years for girls. The most frequent reason for alcohol consumption was meeting and communicing with friends. The students have approximately 1.20 euro daily.Conclusion.


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