Miroslava Petrášová, Emeše Majorová
The ingestion of caustic substances rank among the most common potential medical emergencies in the pediatric
age group. Once a caustic ingestion occurs, it is the responsibility of the physician to determine whether these are minor
occurrences and the child can be monitored at home, or whether the event is a true emergency and the child requires
intervention immediately. Because of variability in pediatric patient size, type of substance ingested, there are
less firm guidelines available to determine the indications and timing for intervention. The following recommendations
for management of caustic ingestions in children are intended to serve as an aid to clinical judgement, not to replace
it and therefore do not provide answers to every clinical question; nor does adherence to them ensure a successful
outcome in every case. The recommendations have been developed following the review of the latter literature. Many
of the recommendations are currently extrapolated from adult experiences or based on experts opinions. Additional
clinical studies may be necessary to clarify aspects based on expert opinion instead of published data. Thus, these
guidelines may be revised as needed to account for new data, changes in clinical practice, or availability of new technology.
The ultimate decision on the clinical management of an individual patient will always depend on the specific
clinical circumstances of the patient, and on the clinical judgement of the specialized health care team.