Opium (powdered poppy Capsules) mixed with sugars and other plant products is a popular home made remedy for colic, cough and tonics for infants and children in Baluchistan.
Over a period of 7 years (1977.1983) 28 children between the ages of I month to 5 years were admitted in Civil Hospital Quetta due to opium poisoning accounting for 0.16% of all paediatric admissions during the same period.
Of the total admissions due to various causes of poisoning, opium was found to be the second commonest cause, but mortality (42.9%) due to opium poisoning was the highest of all (Table 1).
History, physical findings, treatment and mortality in 4 cases of opium poisoning is summarized in Table II.
Early recognition of side effects of opium poisoning and prompt medical treatment are likely to reduce morbidity and mortality in children.
Malik Kasi Yousaf Pervez, Aftab Iqbal Timor Bahadori, A.R. Dotani
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Bolan Medical College & Sandeman (P) Hospital, Quetta.