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Quality of emergency care for acute poisoning in children




Martínez Sánchez L, Mintegi S, Molina Cabañero JC, Azkunaga B



Grupo de Trabajo de Intoxicaciones de la Sociedad Española de Urgencias Pediátricas, Spain.



Objective: To analyze quality of emergency care for acute poisoning in children.
Methods: Multicenter observational study based on 6 health care quality indicators for
treating poisoning in the pediatric emergency services of hospitals participating in the
Toxicology Observation Project of the Spanish Society of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.
Two indicators were analyzed individually for each center and the remaining 4 indicators
were analyzed globally based on data from the project. We considered that an
acceptable quality of care was indicated by 􀀀90% compliance with a standard except in
the case of use of gastric lavage, for which quality of care was indicated by use in <10%
of cases.
Results: The quality standard was achieved for administration of activated carbon after
intake of a substance that can be bound by it (96.7%) and for timely administration of
charcoal within 2 hours (94.5%). Acceptable results for availability of antidotes were
found in all but 2 hospitals. The targeted standard was not met for 3 indicators:
availability of protocols, initiating decontamination within 20 minutes (86%), and use of
gastric lavage (30%).
Conclusions: The emergency care of poisoned children can be improved.


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