Journal of Community Health

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 105–108 | Cite as

Human Poisoning Through Atypical Routes of Exposure

  • Niharika Behal
  • Alan Wong
  • Ruzly Mantara
  • F. Lee CantrellEmail author
Original Paper


There are over 2 million human exposure cases reported to United States poison centers annually. Much of the data involves exposure through ingestion, dermal contact, inhalation, ocular, or parenteral routes. There is limited data characterizing exposure via atypical routes. We conducted a retrospective review of the California Poison Control System Database for a 24-month period from January 2012 to December 2013 for poison exposure that occurred through the otic, vaginal, or rectal route. There were a total of 634 cases involving single-route and single-substance atypical poison exposure. There were 287 (45 %) cases of otic exposure, 190 (30.0 %) cases of vaginal exposure, and 157 (25 %) cases of rectal exposure. Five hundred forty (85 %) of the cases were unintentional. Gasoline exposure through the otic route occurred in 83 (13.1 %) cases, followed by hydrogen peroxide (4.7 %), acetaminophen (3.8 %), and miconazole (2.7 %). Adverse effects occurred in 336 (53 %) cases. No deaths were reported. The most common treatment was observation only, occurring in 396 (62.4 %) cases. The majority of the cases did not warrant hospital evaluation (73.5 %). This is the first retrospective characterization study of atypical routes of poison exposure. These results may provide education to providers and the public regarding risks of exposure to substances through atypical routes.


Otic Vaginal Rectal Poisoning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niharika Behal
    • 1
  • Alan Wong
    • 1
  • Ruzly Mantara
    • 1
  • F. Lee Cantrell
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of PharmacyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.California Poison Control System, San Diego DivisionSan DiegoUSA

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