In this section
For 24 hour advice, contact Victorian Poisons Information Centre 131126
All acts of deliberate self-harm must be taken extremely seriously. All intentional self-poisonings in adolescents require screening for paracetamol ingestion and admission. If unexplained symptoms exist a urinary drug screen may be indicated, though they
are rarely of use in the short term.
NAI or neglect should be considered particularly where accidental poisoning is not consistent with the developmental age of the child, the history is inconsistent, there is a past history of poisoning, illicit drugs or unusual poisoning from household
substances. Infants under 1 do not self-administer medicines.
Children are more susceptible to poisonings from exposure to some agents than adults. For example increased absorption from dermal exposure due to thin skin and higher surface area to weight ratio, and to inhaled toxins due to increased respiratory rate.
Potentially lethal 1-3 tablet
The aim is to determine if the ingestion/ contact is potentially harmful and to develop a management plan.
The Poisons Information Centre may provide useful information about product ingredients and potential toxicity. Phone 131126. Toxicologists are available 24/7 to provide specific clinical advice, and require the following clinical information:
A variety of methods may be considered and should be discussed with a toxicologist before commencement as all require a risk / benefit analysis. Paediatric deaths have occurred from activated charcoal.
Drug antidotes see specific guidelines
Specific antidotes may be available as part of a management plan. Serum drug concentrations may help in treatment decisions.
Calcium channel blocker
Digoxin immune Fab (Digibind)
Quinine induced hypoglycaemia
Warfarin, long acting rodenticide anticoagulant
E1 ECG E2 Exposure
E3 Enhanced elimination
Useful for salicylate toxicity if performed meticulously
Whilst there is evidence of a pharmacokinetic effect, it is not evident that it improves clinical outcome.
Intermittent High flux haemodialysis removes small water-soluble toxins
Continuous renal replacement such as veno-veno haemofiltration has a low clearance rate and is only suitable where haemodialysis is not tolerated. Other methods such as peritoneal dialysis, charcoal haemoperfusion, exchange transfusion and plasmapheresis are less
Contact Victorian Poisons
Information Centre 131126 for advice
Patients requiring escalation of care beyond the comfort of the hospital and local paediatric team.
For emergency advice and paediatric or neonatal ICU transfers, call the Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) Service: 1300 137 650.
Accidental ingestion: Parent information sheet from
Victorian Poisons Information centre on the prevention of poisoning
Intentional self –harm: Referral to local mental health services eg Orygen Youth Health: 1800
Recreational poisoning: Referral to YoDAA, Victoria's Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice service: 1800 458 685
Last updated August 2017