OxyFile #237

Hydrogen peroxide 3% exposures.


Author:  Henry MC; Wheeler J; Mofenson HC; Caraccio TR; Marsh M;
         Comer GM; Singer AJ;

Source:  J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1996; 34(3):323-7

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To present a child who developed gastric ulcers and 
duodenal erosions after ingestion of hydrogen peroxide 3% and 
delineate the epidemiology, medical outcomes, and toxicity of 
exposures to this agent managed by a poison control center. 

METHODS: A retrospective chart review of exposures to hydrogen 
peroxide 3% reported to the Long Island Regional Poison Control 
Center from January 1992 to April 1995 was conducted. Data 
extracted included age, route of exposure, amount of agent, 
symptoms, therapy, and medical outcome. 

RESULTS: There were 670 exposures to hydrogen peroxide 3% of 
81,126 total exposures reported during the 40 months. Most 
exposures were by oral route (77%), occurred in children < 17 
years old (67%), and were asymptomatic (85.6%). All but one 
exposure resulted in a benign outcome. One child, who presented 
with bloody emesis, developed multiple gastric ulcers and duodenal 
erosions after ingestion of hydrogen peroxide 2-4 oz. 

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to hydrogen peroxide 3% is usually benign, 
however, severe gastric injury may occur following small 
ingestions in children. Patients who report persistent vomiting or
bloody emesis require medical evaluation and consideration of 
endoscopy to evaluate gastrointestinal injury.