Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Accidental drug ingestions lead to more than 100,000 hospital emergency department visits annually

Vast majority of cases involved patients aged 5 years old or younger

From a (US ) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Oct 14, 2010 news release

A new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) study found that two-thirds (68.9 percent) of the 100,340 emergency department visits made in 2008 for accidental ingestion of drugs were made by children aged 5 or younger.

Two-fifths (42.3 percent) of the visits involved patients aged 2 years old, and almost one third (29.5 percent) involved one-year-old patients.  The report showed that males accounted for slightly more than half (55.7 percent) of the emergency department visits for accidental drug ingestion among children aged 5 or younger….

.”Poisoning is one of the most common childhood injuries. Most of the time it happens right at home,” [Editor Flahiff’s emphasis] said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “Locking up drugs and properly disposing leftover or expired drugs can save lives. Studies like this one that measure the impact on the health care system of accidental ingestion of drugs also provides us an opportunity to get the message out to parents and caregivers that there are simple steps they can take to prevent accidental drug ingestion.”

A copy of the study is available at:

For more poison prevention and first aid information, call 1-800-222-1222 or visit:



October 23, 2010 - Posted by | Health News Items | ,

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