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23 July 2018 : Clinical Research  

Changing Pattern of Acute Alcohol Intoxications in Children

Ivona Vrkić Boban1ABCDEF, Andjelko Vrca2BCDEF, Marijan Saraga13ADEF*

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908841

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR5123-5131

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In many countries, the number of children hospitalized for alcohol intoxication is increasing. This study analyzed changes in the number of hospitalizations for alcohol intoxication in children aged 0–18 years at the Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Split, from 2008 to 2015.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data were collected retrospectively from hospital medical records. Risk groups were classified according to sex, age, drinking habits, and possible benefits of early psychological or psychiatric interventions. Children were divided into 4 age groups: 0–5 years, 6–9 years, 10–13 years, and 14–18 years. Statistics 12.00 was used for statistical analyses, with P-value <0.05 considered as statistically significant.

RESULTS: Out of 24 651 hospitalized children, 488 were treated for acute intoxication: 36.40% were girls and 63.60% were boys. Among them, 272 children (55.74%) were acutely intoxicated with alcohol, with the average age of 15.95 years and the average blood alcohol concentration of 2.00%. The proportion of children hospitalized for alcohol intoxication decreased from 1.33% in 2008 to 0.75% in 2015. Alcohol intoxications occurred in most cases outside children's homes (92.42%, P=0.001), and on weekends and holidays (81.62%). Among all intoxicated children, 17 children (6.25%) were positive for drugs. A total of 51.29% of children received psychological support (58.59% of girls and 47.09% of boys).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the number of children hospitalized for alcohol intoxication decreased, possibly as a result of preventive, educational, and psychotherapeutic measures or changing drinking habits. Acute alcohol intoxication was most common in the group of children aged 14 to 18 years, and a significant number of these children were positive for drugs, thus, further preventive interventions should be provided.

Keywords: Adolescent, Alcohol Drinking, Alcoholic Intoxication, Child, drug users, Risk Factors

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750