Ján Kovaľ, Rastislav Havrilla, Juliana Kordovanová, Marcel Lavrik
In the recent period, the increase in vapour inhalation abuse in children and adolescents coming from socio-economically disadvantaged environment has been observed. The paper presents the results of the hospitalization of residents in the Prešov region in the period between years 2003 - 2007. During this time period 35 children and adolescents aged 6 - 18 were hospitalized at the Intensive Care Unit of the Paediatric Clinic of J. A. Reiman University Hospital and Policlinic, Prešov with the diagnosis of acute toluene intoxication. All patients were brought to the hospital by Emergency Medical Services. Based on clinical symptoms, their condition was classified as severe intoxication requiring treatment and monitoring at the Intensive Care Unit. In 90 % of cases the toluene vapour was inhaled. Upon admission all patients had an impaired consciousness; most of them were dirty, and their breath and clothes smelled of toluene; some were aggressive or caused disturbances prior to the arrival of Emergency Medical Help. The average age of the observed patients was 15.1 years of age. Out of all intoxicated patients 9 7% of them were Roma patients who lived in the Roma settlement; out of all observed only 9 % of them were girls. In 95 % of the intoxicated subnormal intellect was observed; in most of them light retardation was the case. In the children the most frequent accompanying psychiatric diagnosis was behaviour disorder (33 %). Today there is an increase in vapour inhalation abuse in children and adolescents coming from socio-economically disadvantaged environment, especially from Roma settlements in our region. It is a serious issue from both social and medical viewpoints, and it needs to be solved.