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Epidemiological aspects of suicide attempts among Moroccan children

Nour Mekaoui
Lamiae Karboubi
Fatima Zahra Ouadghiri
Badr Sououd Benjelloun Dakhama


Suicidal behavior among children has significantly increased in Morocco. We conducted a study on the epidemiological aspect to propose a treatment strategy. Descriptive retrospective study over a period of 3 years (April 2012-April 2015) involving children who visited pediatric medical emergencies of the Children Hospital of Rabat after an autolysis attempt. We observed epidemiological parameters, history, social and family context, the means used, the presumed cause, clinical manifestation, and the management. 66 patients were identified. A female predominance was found (sex =15). The average age was 13 years old. This was a first episode in 97% of cases. Psychiatric history was found in 6 patients. The causes of suicide attempt were unidentified in 65%. The most frequent cause was family conflict (35%). The most frequent method was pharmaceutical drug ingestion (54.4%). Children were asymptomatic (57.6%). Neurological manifestations (30%) were most frequent. Digestive symptoms (12%) and hemodynamic (3%) were also discovered. Patients were hospitalized in a general pediatric service 92.4% of the times, admitted to intensive care 4.5% of the times, and two patients refused to be hospitalized. The treatment consisted of gastric lavage (18%) supplemented by symptomatic measures. The outcome was favorable in 95.4% of cases. We recorded 2 deaths by rat poison poisoning. All patients were advised in writing after leaving to follow up with a psychological treatment. Suicide attempts are the result of an ill being, mostly among children living in a family with conflict. Upstream treatment is essential to identify children at risk. Additionally, a psychiatric care in hospital is essential to avoid recurrences.

Pan African Medical Journal 2016; 24

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eISSN: 1937-8688