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Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0004-0584On-line version ISSN 1688-1249


NOROYA, Nicolás et al. Children unintentionally exposed to cannabis within the framework of the Uruguayan Cannabis Sale Regulation. Cases assisted at the Emergency Department of the Pereira Rossell Hospital between March and June 2017. Arch. Pediatr. Urug. [online]. 2018, vol.89, n.5, pp.329-336. ISSN 0004-0584.


marijuana is most highly consumed abuse substance in America and Europe after alcohol. In Uruguay, the prevalence is close to 23%. The active ingredient, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for its psychoactive effects. The main source of access for a child involves a relative and/or neighbor. Intoxication may be more severe in children, In 2013,.cannabis-sale regulating Act 19.172 was approved in Uruguay, and it generated a new potentially risky scenario for children.


report clinical cases of severe unintentional intoxication from cannabis between March and June 2017, and analyze circumstances that led to exposure, clinical manifestations, severity and evolution.

Clinical observation:

4 children (9 months, 1, 2 and 8 years of age) were assisted. In all cases, they had ingested cannabis in their home environment. They presented severe neurological symptoms: depressed level of consciousness, convulsive seizures, dystonia, ataxia, irritability. They required supportive measures, digestive decontamination and additional laboratory tests. Urine screening was positive in 4 cases. In 2, we performed confirmatory technique. As per the Poisoning Severity Score, all children suffered moderate intoxication. They were assisted jointly by a clinical toxicologist.


children showing predominantly acute neurological symptoms with no apparent cause can be the subject of severe cannabis intoxication, especially when cannabis consumption takes place in their household environments. Surveillance is needed and future research will certainly contribute to the creation of prevention strategies with the purpose of reducing the potential unwanted consequences of this new scenario for children.

Keywords : Cannabis; Poisoning; Neurotoxicity syndromes; Marijuana use; Consciousness disorders.

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