Doctors used a ventilator to aid the toddler’s breathing and performed gastric irrigation and alkaline treatment.
Two hours later, the toddler’s condition worsened and he slipped into a coma with symptoms of acute liver failure, which included an accelerated heart rate, low blood pressure and severe coagulopathy.
Doctors informed his parents that their boy needs a liver transplant in order to survive.
Dr Phan Hong Sang said that a similar incident occurred last year when a three-year-old child died in hospital from paracetamol poisoning.
“The situation of children taking paracetamol and experiencing an antipyretic drug overdose is very dangerous, resulting in serious consequences,” he said.
“Therefore, we strongly advise parents to consult a specialist for the correct dosage and instructions when their child has a fever and not give their child medication on their own.”
Paracetamol poisoning, otherwise known as acetaminophen poisoning, is caused by an overdose of acetaminophen, and may cause complications such as kidney failure, pancreatitis and even death.
- Read the medicine label and packaging
- Know the child’s weight
- Measure liquid medicines accurately (by learning how to use the dosing device and checking the dose is right)
- Keep track of the medicines given
- Ask questions if you’re ever unsure
The experts also want to see better education to improve health professional and consumer communication and improve product package labelling.
And for a refresher, the safest child dosing of paracetamol for children (one month to 12 years) is 15mg per kg, which can be given every four to six hours as needed, with no more than four doses in 24 hours.