Act fast with Panadol over­dose

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing

LIT­TLE Ava Thompson’s climb­ing skills and love for sweet things took a dan­ger­ous turn when she drank a bot­tle of chil­dren’s Panadol re­cently.

De­spite ini­tial fears from doc­tors that the two-yearold had suf­fered per­ma­nent liver dam­age, Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal tox­i­col­o­gist Dr Gopi Mann ex­pects there will be no long-term con­se­quences.

Ava’s mother Hay­ley is shar­ing her story to en­cour­age other par­ents to fol­low their in­stincts.

About 6pm on June 30 Ava was found suck­ing an or­ange liq­uid off her fin­gers in the kitchen. There was an open Panadol bot­tle and a small pud­dle on the bench.

Ms Thompson said Ava had used the drawer han­dles to climb up onto the bench.

“I mustn’t have put the lid on prop­erly,” she said.

Ms Thompson said she called the nurses hot­line and was trans­ferred to the NSW Poi­sons In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre.

“They told me be­cause she wasn’t show­ing any symp­toms and I couldn’t tell how much she had ac­tu­ally swal­lowed, I should just mon­i­tor her and if any symp­toms ap­peared to call them back,” she said.

“She had no symp­toms so I even­tu­ally gave her a bot­tle and put her to bed. But at about 10pm she came into us scream­ing in agony, grab­bing her stom­ach and vom­it­ing. I just pan­icked.”

Ms Thompson said she called the poi­son hot­line back, ex­plained the symp- toms and an­swered the op­er­a­tor’s ques­tions. She said the op­er­a­tor agreed she should take Ava to emer­gency but was told her to save call­ing an am­bu­lance for those who re­ally needed it.

As a re­sult, Ms Thompson and her fiance put Ava and her big sis­ter in the car and drove to the hos­pi­tal.

“Ava was throw­ing up the whole way. It got to a point she had noth­ing left to throw up so she was bring­ing up what looked like blood. It was hor­rific,” she said.

When they ar­rived at hos­pi­tal, Ms Thompson’s fiance had to head back home to get the Panadol bot­tle be­fore any treat­ment could start.

Dr Mann said the hos­pi­tal saw cases of Panadol over­doses in chil­dren on a weekly ba­sis but Ava’s case was “un­usual”.

He said the hos­pi­tal had an eight-hour win­dow from the time the Panadol was taken to give an an­ti­dote to pre­vent per­ma­nent liver dam­age.

Dr Mann said quick ac­tion was needed if the pa­tient’s tests showed lev­els of blood parac­eta­mol con­cen­tra­tion of 880 or above. Ava’s re­sults were 981.

Be­cause the hos­pi­tal’s pathol­ogy unit was closed for the night, her bloods were rushed to Black­town Hos­pi­tal by taxi. The re­sults came back in the fi­nal hour of the eight-hour win­dow.

A spokes­woman for the NSW Poi­sons In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre said calls were taken by spe­cial­ists in poi­sons in­for­ma­tion with back­grounds in phar­macy and spe­cific train­ing in poi­sons in­for­ma­tion and clin­i­cal tox­i­col­ogy.

“Ad­vice given de­pends on the history pro­vided and sub­se­quent risk as­sess­ment for each in­di­vid­ual case,” the spokes­woman said.

It was aw­ful, Ava was throw­ing up the whole way

– HAY­LEY THOMPSON

Ava Thompson in Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal af­ter a Panadol over­dose. She is ex­pected to make a full re­cov­ery.

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