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Vet Hum Toxicol. 1988 Feb;30(1):20-2.

CNS depression in an infant after the ingestion of tobacco: a case report.

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Hennepin Regional Poison Center, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415.


An 8-month-old female infant was brought in after ingesting cigarette butts. Upon presentation to the ED approximately 2.5 hr post-ingestion, the child was very lethargic and respirations were depressed. She was intubated and a NG tube was placed. Gastric lavage was performed, after which activated charcoal and sorbitol were given. Atropine was administered to treat excessive secretions. The patient became progressively more obtunded throughout the emergency department stay. Upon admission to the PICU she was minimally responsive. The urine tox screen was positive only for nicotine. The patient gradually improved with supportive care and was sent home on the third hospital day. Although the effects of Nicotine are well documented, few cases have been reported of severe toxicity in pediatric patients. We believe this to be the only reported case of severe CNS depression secondary to the ingestion of cigarette butts in a pediatric patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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