Drug poisonings rise in the first world

PAEDIATRIC poisoning from pharmaceuticals is “getting worse, not better”, according to a review of US cases from 2001 to 2008.

There were 453,559 cases and 66 deaths of children younger than five years who swallowed a drug, with opioid analgesics, sedative-hypnotics and cardiovascular agents the most common.

ED presentations and hospital admissions increased 30–43% over the period, compared to 8% expected from population growth.

The Journal of Pediatrics2011, online 16 September