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Pediatrics. 1997 May;99(5):E4.

Childhood poisoning involving transdermal nicotine patches.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Poison Control System, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the circumstances, medical complications, and outcomes of children exposed to a transdermal nicotine patch (TNP).

DESIGN:

Prospective case series; postmarketing surveillance study over a 24-month period.

SETTING:

Thirty-four United States poison centers. Patients. Children 0 to 15 years old exposed to a TNP.

INTERVENTIONS:

None.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Exposure circumstances, symptoms and signs of toxicity, complications, disposition, and hospital length of stay.

RESULTS:

Reports were received concerning 36 exposures to TNP in children younger than 16 years old (mean: 3 years old). Eighteen of these TNP exposures were dermal; 18 additional children had bitten, chewed, or swallowed part of a patch. All four commercial brands of TNP were represented; no brand was associated with more symptoms or an increased severity of illness. Fourteen children (39%) developed symptoms, including gastrointestinal distress (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain), weakness, dizziness, or localized rashes. Occurrence of symptoms after a dermal exposure to a TNP was associated with an estimated nicotine dose >/=.10 mg (>/=.01 mg/kg body weight). Ten children were seen in the emergency department; two were admitted overnight. All recovered fully.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this series, unintentional exposures to TNPs among young children usually involved used patches, were transient (<20 minutes duration), and required only skin decontamination and supportive care. Continued monitoring of inadvertent childhood exposures to TNPs is recommended to confirm these observations.

PMID:
9113961
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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