Clinical features in toxic coma in children
- Simona Stanca
- Coriolan Emil Ulmeanu
- Horia Tudor Stanca
- Gheorghe Iovanescu
Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, ‘Carol Davila’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, ‘Grigore Alexandrescu’ Clinical Emergency Hospital for Children, 050474 Bucharest, Romania, Department of Pediatrics, ‘Carol Davila’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 050474 Bucharest, Romania, Department of Ophthalmology, ‘Carol Davila’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 050474 Bucharest, Romania, Department of ENT, ‘Victor Babes’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 300041 Timisoara, Romania
- Published online on: August 6, 2019 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2019.7857
Copyright: © Stanca
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The purpose was to identify rapidly the etiology of toxic coma in children, to appreciate the severity of the coma, to detect elements of gravity based on associated clinical signs and symptoms and to evaluate the initial treatment. Toxic coma is a medical emergency, especially in a Pediatric Emergency Department, requiring rapid and precise evaluation. The key objectives in the evaluation and management of coma in children are: detecting severity characteristics, depth of coma, specific clinical signs and symptoms, etiological and differential diagnostic and also initializing supportive therapy and specific treatment. This is a retrospective study, where we analyzed all patients diagnosed with coma admitted to the ‘Grigore Alexandrescu’ Clinical Emergency Hospital for Children over a nine‑year period from 2003 to 2011. We focused on toxic coma. A prospective component related to tracking certain signs and symptoms associated with toxic coma to diagnose and initiate appropriate therapy as early as possible was also included. In this nine‑year study, 750 comatose patients were included. We found that toxicants represent the main cause of coma in children. There were 445 patients diagnosed with toxic coma, representing 59.3% and 305 cases of non‑toxic coma, 40.7% of all coma cases presented in ER. The etiology of toxic coma in children is dominated by alcohol and abuse substances, followed by neurologic medication. Clinical manifestations were more frequent and more severe as the coma degree increases. Associating clinical manifestations in patients with altered neurologic status of toxic cause and toxicants has an important role in practice, because it helps us recognize the frequency of association of coma complications such as: aspiration syndrome, arrhythmias and seizures.