Document Type



Emergency Medicine; Centre for Innovation in Medical Education


Objectives: To determine the causative factors behind corrosive poisoning in children like effect of working mothers, their educational status, financial background, family size and number of siblings.

Methods: The multi-centre, prospective, case series of all paediatric patients presenting to the Emergency Department of the National Institute of Child Health and the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi from August 2008 to July 2009 is presented. It comprised all paediatric patients with a history of corrosive poisoning at the two hospitals. SPSS 20 was used for statistical analysis.

Results: Out of 105 cases, 56(53%) related to the private-sector Aga Khan University Hospital, and 49(47%) to the public-sector National Institute of Child Health. Of the total, 82(78%) were in 1-5 age group; 61 (58%) were males; and 44(42%) were females. While 59 (56.2%) mothers were educated, only 21 (20%) were working. Of the 46 (43.8%) non-educated mothers, 20 (19%) were working. The type of poison was alkali in 81(77%) cases, acid in 23(22%). The corrosive varied from liquid in 80(76%) cases to powder/gel/semi-solid form in 25(24%) exposures. Besides, 65 (61.9%) families had 3 or more siblings, and the age of siblings was less than 10 in 60 (57.14%) cases, In 34 (32.38%) cases, the chemical were kept in the original container, while in 71 (67.61%) cases other commonly used and familiar containers were used to store these chemicals. Kitchen was the most common place with 51 (48.57%) cases. The time of incident was afternoon in 51(48.57%) cases. Majority cases (n=23; 21.9%) occurred in October.

Conclusion: There are multiple contributory factors in corrosive exposure among children rather than the mother's working status and her educational background.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association