Unsuspected Cocaine Exposure in Young Children

Sigmund J. Kharasch, Deborah Glotzer, Robert Vinci, Michael Weitzman, James Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To determine the prevalence of cocaine exposure among preschool children with clinically unsuspected signs and/or symptoms. Prevalence study. Pediatric emergency department in an inner-city hospital. 250 children aged 2 weeks to 5 years who underwent urine assays for cocaine prior to discharge from the emergency department. None. Six (2.4%) of the 250 urine assays (95% confidence interval, 0.5% to 4.3%) were positive for benzoylecgonine, the major urinary cocaine metabolite. Four of the positive urine assays were from children younger than 1 year and all children with positive urine assays were younger than 24 months. None of these children presented with a complaint or was identified as having clinical problems currently associated with childhood exposure to cocaine. Possible exposure routes include breast-feeding, intentional administration, accidental ingestion of cocaine or cocaine-contaminated household dust via normal hand-to-mouth activity, and passive inhalation of “crack” vapors. Among the inner-city children served by this hospital, significant numbers of infants and young children are being exposed to cocaine, and this exposure occurs in a clinically unsuspected population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-206
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Diseases of Children
Volume145
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

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Cocaine
Urine
Hospital Emergency Service
Urban Hospitals
Preschool Children
Breast Feeding
Dust
Inhalation
Signs and Symptoms
Mouth
Hand
Cross-Sectional Studies
Eating
Confidence Intervals
Pediatrics
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Unsuspected Cocaine Exposure in Young Children. / Kharasch, Sigmund J.; Glotzer, Deborah; Vinci, Robert; Weitzman, Michael; Sargent, James.

In: American Journal of Diseases of Children, Vol. 145, No. 2, 01.01.1991, p. 204-206.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kharasch, Sigmund J. ; Glotzer, Deborah ; Vinci, Robert ; Weitzman, Michael ; Sargent, James. / Unsuspected Cocaine Exposure in Young Children. In: American Journal of Diseases of Children. 1991 ; Vol. 145, No. 2. pp. 204-206.
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