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Hum Exp Toxicol. 1993 Jan;12(1):29-32.

Medical charcoal for a child's poisoning at home: availability and success of administration in Finland.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


In a prospective study, 174 families were interviewed over the telephone to find out whether the treatment of their child's poisoning with medical charcoal was successfully completed. The majority (103; 59.2%) of the families had no charcoal at home. The mean delay in administration for those who had to obtain charcoal was 41.6 min; significantly longer than the 24.5 min taken for those who had charcoal at home (P < 0.001). The treatment succeeded in all but five of the 102 patients given charcoal at home. Thus for mild poisoning in young children, the administration of activated charcoal at home, under the guidance of a Poison Information Centre, could be a rapid and safe first-aid treatment. Presently the widespread unavailability of charcoal in the home in Finland causes an unnecessary delay in treatment that could be of clinical importance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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