Epidemiology, Clinical Characteristics, and Management of Acute Hydrocarbons Poisoning at Benha Poisoning Control Unit: A One-Year Prospective Clinical Study

Document Type : Original Article


Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt


Hydrocarbons poisoning is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing countries. The aim of this work is to investigate the pattern and management of acute hydrocarbons poisoning at Benha Poisoning Control Unit, Benha University Hospitals, Egypt, from 1st February 2013 to 31th January 2014. Of the total 72 hydrocarbons exposures, kerosene consititued the majority (66.7%), followed by gasoline (27.8%) and thinner (5.5%). Males represented 56.9% and females 43.1% of cases, 76.4% were below age of five, and 63.9% came from rural areas. Accidental manner predominate (93.1%), the majority (84.7%) was home exposures, and during summer months (37.5%). All patients were exposed orally; combined dermal exposure occurred in 44.4% of them. Commonly observed symptoms were cough (72.2%), dyspnea (50%), wheezy chest (40.3%), respiratory distress (12.5%), vomiting (45.8%) drowsiness (36.1%), agitation (11.1%), convulsion (2.8%), and fever (26.4%). According to the poisoning severity score, 13.9% were asymptomatic, 61.1% were minor, 16.7% were moderate and 8.3% were severe, with no fatal cases. There was a significant relation between vomiting and clinical severity and pneumonia. Radiological findings of pulmonary pathology occurred in 70.8%; increased broncho-vascular markings were the most common (51.2%), followed by pneumonia (19.4%). No specific treatment was used; supplemental oxygen in 86.1% of patients, and only 5.6% were put on mechanical ventilation. In conclusion, acute hydrocarbons poisoning is a prevalent household accidental toxic hazard among rural male children <5years old. Patients must be monitored both clinically and radiologically to recognize potential pulmonary complications, and symptomatic treatment is effective