Intentional poisonings in urban and rural children – a 6-year retrospective single centre study

Medical University of Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2016;23(3):482–486
[b]Introduction.[/b] Intentional poisonings among children and adolescents are a problem not only for paediatricians, but also constitute a big issue for public health. In many countries worldwide, including Poland, an increase has been observed in suicidal behaviours at developmental age. [b]Objective. [/b]The aim of the study was a retrospective evaluation of patients hospitalized due to intentional poisoning in the Department of Paediatrics, Children’s University Hospital in Lublin, Poland, in 2007–2012. [b]Materials and methods.[/b] In the study period, 149 patients were hospitalized in the Paediatric Department of the Children’s University Hospital in Lublin, due to intentional poisoning with medicines or other chemical substances. The study group comprised 135 girls and 14 boys; The majority of patients (n=105) were urban inhabitants, and only 44 lived in the rural areas. Medical records were analyzed, with consideration of medical, psychological and psychiatric examinations. [b]Results. [/b]Girls constituted as much as 90.6% of the study group. The majority of patients lived in urban areas – 70.46%. A total of 16.77 % of patients came from incomplete families. Alcohol problem occurred in 19 families. The most frequent cause of a suicide attempt was conflict in the family, followed by school problems. During the 6-year-study period, an upward tendency in the incidence of intentional poisoning was observed, particularly in the first 4 years. [b]Discussion and conclusion.[/b] Suicide attempts in adolescents were mostly undertaken by girls from the urban environment. The majority of those attempts were caused by family problems, including alcoholism.