Impact of a working group on gastrointestinal decontamination in Spanish emergency departments

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Introduction and objectives

The aim of this study is to analyze the impact of the actions carried out by the Intoxications Working Group (IWG) of Spanish Society of Pediatric Emergencies in the management of acute pediatric intoxications in Spain, specifically the publishing of a Handbook in 2004 or the creation of the Toxicologic Surveillance System in 2009.

Patients and methods

Gastrointestinal decontamination procedures were analyzed in three periods of time in Pediatric Emergency Departments (PEDs) included in the IWG: group A (2001–2002, 17 PED, 2157 episodes), group B (2008–2009, 22 PED, 612 episodes), and group C (2009–2011, 42 PED, 400 episodes). These periods were chosen because the main actions of the IWG were developed in the time in-between them.


Of the 3169 episodes included, a gastrointestinal decontamination procedure was performed in 1031. The use of ipecac syrup decreased from 22.8% in group A to 0 in group C and the performance of a gastric lavage decreased from 29.1% in group A to 26% in group C (NS), although on splitting yearly patients of group C, it decreased to 14.7% in 2011.


Recommendations developed and spread by a Working Group have approached the management of acute pediatric intoxications in Spain to international guidelines on the basis of scientific evidence.

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