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Diagnostic tests in child poisoning


Each year about 200 children under the age of fifteen die in England and Wales from poisoning.1 2 Poisoning must always be considered when a child shows unexplained symptoms and signs, is in coma or is seriously ill. The nature of the toxic substance is frequently not known, and sometimes an antidote giving a rapid clinical response is of diagnostic value. This article discusses only the diagnostic help that certain drugs can give; it does not summarise treatment.

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