A Seven-Year Review of Accidental Kerosene Poisoning in Children at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano
Background: Accidental ingestion of kerosene is a potential source of morbidity and mortality in children. The objectives of the study are to determine to magnitude of the problem and proffer feasible solutions to reduce the frequency of occurrence.
Methodology: The medical records of all cases of kerosene poisoning admitted into Paediatric Medical Ward and Emergency Paediatric Unit were identified and relevant data extracted and analysed.
Results: Kerosene poisoning constituted 55 (1.2%) of cases of all paediatric admissions within the period (Jan 1999 Dec 2005). The study showed that children 4months to 8years were affected with peak age of 18 months. Thirty-four (61.8%) of the cases were aged below 2 years which conforms to findings in earlier studies in Nigeria. Main clinical feature was cough with difficulty in breathing in 52 (94.5%) of cases. Others features noted were central nervous system involvement (14.5%), vomiting (20%), and fever 16 (29.1%). There were 3 deaths giving the mortality of 5.5%.
Conclusion: The study has revealed that kerosene poisoning is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Government policies that will enhance the standard of living of people and education of parents/care givers are the identified imperatives for reduction of the problem.
Keywords: Accidental, Kerosene, Poisoning, Review.
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (4) 2008: pp. 380-382