Emergency Department Visits Involving the Accidental Ingestion of Opioid Pain Relievers by Children Aged 1 to 5
This issue of the CBHSQ Report focuses on emergency department (ED) visits involving accidental ingestion of opioid pain relievers by children. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, in 2011 an estimated 4,321 ED visits involved accidental ingestion of opioid pain relievers by children aged 1 to 5. The number of ED visits increased 200.7 percent from 1,437 visits in 2004 to 4,321 visits in 2011. Combined 2004 to 2011 data show that an estimated 5,977 of these ED visits involved hydrocodone products, and 4,365 involved oxycodone products. About 5,222 visits involved buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction. Of the children who went to the ED for accidental ingestion of opioid pain relievers, most (71 percent) were treated and released; 16 percent were admitted to the hospital, and 11 percent were transferred to another health care facility.