Study estimates prevalence of pediatric caustic ingestion injuries

The annual economic burden of pediatric caustic ingestion injuries was estimated at nearly $23 million with an estimated prevalence of injuries requiring hospitalization for 807 children in 2009, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, a JAMA Network publication.

Although not well documented, the prevalence of caustic ingestion injuries appears to have decreased over the years through legislative measures, including requiring the labeling of caustic substances such as lye. Having epidemiologic data is necessary to analyze the effect of legislative measures and to investigate national trends and variations to develop new prevention strategies, according to the study background.

Christopher M. Johnson, M.D., and Matthew T. Brigger, M.D., M.P.H., of the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, used the 2009 Kids' Inpatient Database to generate national estimates of the public health burden related to caustic injury. The authors estimated that the prevalence of pediatric caustic ingestion injuries requiring hospitalization in 2009 to be 807 children.

"Based on the weighted estimate, the prevalence of pediatric caustic ingestion injuries in the United States during 2009 appears to be much lower than the figure widely stated in the literature. The finding of a decreased prevalence of caustic injuries makes sense given the public health interventions currently in place," the authors comment.

The authors note that children with caustic ingestion injuries were estimated to incur charges of nearly $23 million and account for more than 3,300 inpatient days.

"Further investigation is necessary to better define specific populations and to identify opportunities for targeted intervention," the authors conclude.

More information: Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138[12]:1111-1115

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Caustic ash left behind by wildfires

Dec 06, 2007

U.S. geologists say ash and debris from California wildfires is full of arsenic, lead and other caustic materials that pose a health and safety risk.

Recommended for you

Study seeks to sharpen surgery systems

Feb 27, 2015

Communication and coordination are important aspects of any workplace - but arguably more important in operating theatres than anywhere else, according to Professor Sharon Parker from The University of Western Australia's ...

Italian teen gets titanium pelvis in world first

Feb 25, 2015

An Italian teenager suffering from bone cancer has had half his pelvis replaced by a titanium transplant in what medics at Turin's university hospital centre said Wednesday was a world first.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.