The IPC is consulted on over 80,000 poisoning cases each year—about 30,000 of those cases involve a nondrug household-use product. That is over 80 each day! Household-use products include cleaners, hydrocarbons, pesticides, automotive products, and personal care products like soaps and lotions. Luckily, most unintentional exposures to these substances results in minor or no toxicity at all. In fact, the majority can be managed at home or wherever the exposure occurred, with help from our expert staff. Read more »
It has been almost 6 years since the first IPC blog article was written. It has taken a lot of time and work to continue this blog conversation; I hope it has been worthwhile for all of you who have followed us since the beginning as well as for those who are new to our musings of all things poison.
For those unaware of Illinois politics, the IPC is once again affected by another Illinois state budget crisis. There is significant uncertainty as the fate of state support for the Illinois Poison Center (IPC). The IPC however provides incredible value to the state of Illinois for its current $1,000,000 investment.
To explain this I have to use a term that I did not learn in medical school: Leverage
We hope you enjoyed our Day in the Life of the Poison Center blog-a-thon. Those cases represent just a single day here at IPC; that translates to nearly 80,000 people that we help each year in Illinois. Hopefully after reading these sample cases, you’ve learned that the IPC can help with just about any substance out there, and that there is no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed to call, because we really have heard it all! To view the cases again, click on any/all the following hourly posts: Read more »
Summer means a lot of different things to people; one thing it means to us at the IPC—snake season! There are over 6,000 snake bites reported to the nation’s poison centers annually, and we tend to see many of them in the warmer months. There are 4 venomous snakes indigenous to Illinois (read about those here). Those are the biters, but what about the ‘bitees’? What is the epidemiology of snake bite victims? Oftentimes a snake bite victim’s characteristics can be described in 6 Ts… Read more »
While fear of spiders – arachnophobia – is a common phobia, spiders actually tend to avoid human contact. In fact, they only attack when they feel threatened by us. Therefore, the most common situations resulting in bites are when spider webs get severely disturbed or torn down or when the creatures are about to be crushed. For example, they might bite if they are threatened when they get caught in a glove or boot. Read more »
By special guest blogger Lawren Wellish, MD
Every single day, the poison center gets calls from parents or caregivers asking for advice after their child has gotten a hold of one of those no-no products and taken a sip or a swim. Parents often feel guilty and frustrated about this. We hear lots of callers say, “I just turned my back for a second!” or “I TOLD him never to touch that!” We’d like you to know, this is a VERY common occurrence, you are not alone, and you are not a bad parent!
- A 38 year old woman got out of the shower, did not have her glasses on and reached for her aerosol spray deodorant but instead used Scrubbing Bubbles.
- A 23 year old female was brought to the ER after confessing to her mother that she had ingested several handfuls of her medication. Read more »
- A 2 year old ingested an unknown amount of moisturizing body butter.
- A father called; when he went to check on his sleeping 11 month old son on his way to bed, he found that the baby had pulled off his diaper and eaten some of the absorbent diaper material inside. Read more »
- A woman called because she had reached into her bathroom cabinet in the dark for a tube of personal lubricant and accidentally used toothpaste instead.
- A 5 year old ingested up to 10 of his own Singulair. Read more »
- An ER called requesting treatment advice regarding a 26 year old intoxicated male who was bit by his pet rattlesnake on the neck. He was showing off the snake to his friends at a party and placed it around his neck.
- A father called after cooking tater tots in the oven; after his kids ate them, the caller realized there was a charred rat corpse in the oven. Read more »
- An ER called requesting treatment advice regarding a 74 year old female ingested unknown amount of diltiazem and metformin
- A 4 year old inadvertently brushed his teeth with Bengay muscle rub instead of toothpaste. Read more »
- Caller took a beer out of the minbar in a hotel and quickly realized after one swig that it was urine. Someone had drunk the beer, then filled it with urine and put it back to avoid being charged.
- A mother called after finding her 2 year old son chewing on an AA battery he found in the remote control. Read more »
- After playing basketball, an 18 year old male took two large swigs from a Gatorade bottle that he found in his friend’s Jeep. Turns out it was windshield wiper fluid the friend had transferred to the smaller bottle to make it more portable.
- While crawling in the kitchen, a 10 month old bit into a Laundry Pod. Read more »
- A mother called because her 18 year old son was dared to drink a bottle of hot sauce. He developed significant vomiting and diarrhea.
- A 37 year old male inadvertently took two of his daughter’s Depakote tablets, thinking they were Tylenol. Read more »
- A caller was trying to unclog a stubborn drain and poured drain cleaner and bleach into the sink at the same time. He immediately began having nose and eye burning and coughing. Read more »
- A 3 year old child ingested a mouthful of calamine lotion.
- A 2 year old got into grandmother’s pill box and may have ingested up to one each of lisinopril, prednisone and atorvastatin. Read more »
- An ER called regarding two adult patients who presented with bluish tinged skin (cyanosis). They had made their own beef jerky at home and had added 5 times too much sodium nitrate as a preservative.
- A preschool teacher would like to have someone from IPC to come out and give a poison prevention lecture to the children (IPC’s public education manager helped her out: firstname.lastname@example.org). Read more »
- A mom called, she is visiting her friend (who uses e-cigarettes) and found her 2 year old sucking the liquid out of the E-cigarette device.
- An adult caller was using a Brillo pad to clean a stain on his underwear. As a result of vigorously scrubbing, some of the Brillo cleanser flew into his eye. Read more »
- An elderly man called because a drain opener splashed into his eyes when he poured it into a clogged drain.
- A 5 year old accidentally super glued his finger in his nose. Read more »
- An ER called for assistance with an adult male who was pulled unconscious from a tank he had been cleaning at his worksite.
- A toddler ingested a mouthful of acetone nail polish remover. Read more »
- A 3 year old child ingested an entire roll of Rolaids.
- A 23 year old woman is in the ER because she had been using an outdoor pesticide (chlorpyrifos) inside her house repeatedly over the past week. She is experiencing symptoms of dizziness and drowsiness. Read more »
- A 14 month old child took a bite out of his mother’s deodorant stick. Mom was able to remove most of the material from his mouth but he swallowed some.
- A 2 year old child ingested an unknown number of gummy vitamins. Read more »
- An 11 month old child was playing with the tube of diaper cream while his father changed his diaper. He bit into the tube and ingested a mouthful of the cream.
- EMS called because they are transporting a patient found by his wife; she woke up this morning to find that he was on the couch covered in vomit with empty pill bottles surrounding him. Read more »
Want to know what it is like to work at a poison center? Ever wonder just what type of calls we receive? All of these calls are typical of the type of calls the IPC gets on any given day. They are presented in a simulated call timeframe and details have been changed to protect the privacy of our callers. Regardless of how people come into contact with potentially harmful substances, our staff answers each call with concern, professionalism and respect. You never know when you will need us—put 1-800-222-1222 into your phone now! All calls to the IPC are free and confidential, and are answered by health care professionals specially trained in toxicology. Read more »
In September 2014, 147 people at North Mac Middle School in Girard, IL, were rushed to local hospitals after being poisoned with carbon monoxide. A gas water heater had malfunctioned (despite passing inspection a few months previous). By law, homes in Illinois are required to have a working carbon monoxide detector—not so for schools. Read more »