Table of Contents
ISRN Pediatrics
Volume 2012, Article ID 210632, 4 pages
Research Article

Morbidity and Mortality of Caustic Ingestion in Rural Children: Experience in a New Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit in Nigeria

1Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, PMB 1136 Uyo, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria
2Otorhinolaryngology Unit, Department of Surgery, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, PMB 1136 Uyo, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria

Received 30 March 2012; Accepted 29 April 2012

Academic Editors: G. Dimitriou, H. Neville, and B. Vasarhelyi

Copyright © 2012 E. E. Ekpe and V. Ette. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Inspite of the fact that accidental caustic ingestion is an entirely easily preventable problem, it has however persisted in rural Nigerian communities because the commonly implicated agent which is caustic soda (sodium hydroxide, NaOH) is sold in open markets without restrictive legislations. This study aims to identify the perpetuating factors of paediatric caustic ingestion and recommend preventive measures. Method. Retrospective analysis of clinical records of our paediatric patients who presented following caustic ingestion between November 2006 and November 2010 was made for demography, socioeconomic status of parent(s), caustic substance ingested with amount (where known), circumstance of ingestion, means of oesophageal evaluation, treatment and outcome. Results. There were 16 paediatric cases of caustic ingestion during the study period with age ranging from 1 to 18 years with mode in the 1–3 years group and male : female ratio 4.3 : 1. In 100% of the cases, the caustic ingestion was accidental, while caustic soda was the agent in 93.7%, and 87.5% of the parents were into local soap and detergent production. In all patients, the oesophagus was evaluated with late barium swallow/meal and oesophagoscopy before treatment. Conclusion. Caustic ingestion among rural children in Nigeria can be prevented.