Ingestion of laundry detergent packets is an important threat to young children. Because of their developmental stage, toddlers are prone to place these small, colorful packets in their mouths. The packets can easily burst, sending a large volume of viscous, alkaline liquid throughout the oropharynx. Ingestion causes major toxic effects, including depression of the central nervous system, metabolic acidosis, respiratory distress, and dysphagia. Critical care nurses should anticipate these clinical effects and facilitate prompt intervention. Increased understanding of the risks and clinical effects of ingestion of laundry detergent packets will better prepare critical care nurses to provide care for these children. (Critical Care Nurse. 2016; 36:70–75)
Toxicology| August 01 2016
Ingestion of Laundry Detergent Packets in Children
Lindsey Wilson Shah, RN, MSN, CPNP-AC
Lindsey Wilson Shah is a recent graduate of the pediatric critical care nurse practitioner program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She currently works in the pediatric intensive care unit at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Corresponding author: Lindsey Wilson Shah, rn, msn, cpnp-ac, Texas Children’s Hospital, 6621 Fannin, W6-006, Houston, TX 77030 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Crit Care Nurse (2016) 36 (4): 70–75.
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Lindsey Wilson Shah; Ingestion of Laundry Detergent Packets in Children. Crit Care Nurse 1 August 2016; 36 (4): 70–75. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2016233
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