Pharmaceutical Poisoning to 0-19 year olds. National Public Health Partnership Planning and Practice Framework Trial

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #193 - 2002

Authors: Ozanne-Smith, J., Routley, V., Scott, I., Scott, G.

Full report in .pdf format [770KB]


MUARC was commissioned by the Department of Health and Aged Care and the National Public Health Partnership to undertake a trial of the Public Health Planning and Practice Framework for pharmaceutical poisoning to young persons aged 0-19 years. Adverse effects of medication and illicit drugs were excluded. A Steering Committee was established by the funding bodies in order to commission and oversee the trial.

Childhood unintentional poisoning ranks second only to falls as an injury cause of hospitalisation in the 0-4 years age group. It has been identified by the National Injury Prevention Advisory Council as one of the four injury areas for priority action. Similarly, intentional adolescent overdose is a substantial public health problem. Since the vast majority of both child and adolescent poisoning hospitalisations can be attributed to pharmaceuticals, the project comprised a study of these two separate groups.

Aim: The aim of the project was to determine a portfolio of evidence based interventions for the prevention of both child and adolescent poisoning due to pharmaceuticals.

Scope: There are 5 components to the Framework: Part 1: Identify and characterise the determinants of ill health, including data analysis and an environmental scan, Part 2: Analyse the risks - including data analysis, Part 3: Assess options - including a literature review, Part 4: Workshop to determine the Poisoning Prevention Portfolio - including current barriers and changes required to move forward and Part 5: Act, only a report and recommendations being required in this part of the project.

A Poisoning Prevention Portfolio was produced which is based on a compilation of the output from the Decision Making Group. Enhancements were made to the portfolio since the recommendations at the workshop were quite sparse and under-developed. Almost 20 items under the headings of general, child and adolescent pharmaceutical poisoning recommendations are included. The strengths and limitations of the study, the custodians of the problem and potential strategic directions, a hierarchical environmental map and the experience in applying the Framework are discussed. A 'road-map' of potential future directions for the various custodians has been developed.

Sponsoring Organisation:  Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (formerly Aged Care)