Posted: July 2nd, 2015 | No Comments »
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:
Midnight – 7:00am
We showed you a 1-2 sentence summary of the calls, but a lot more goes into each one. Some calls can take 15 minutes each or more. We take the time to get a full history surrounding each exposure, research and assess the situation, inform the caller of the expected effects, and also describe any interventions that may need to be done to ensure the best possible outcome. We’re not just a voice on the phone; we collaborate with other health care professionals (nurses, pharmacists, doctors, EMS) and experts (mycologists, herpetologists) to ensure that every potential poisoning we are involved with is managed with the most up-to-date and best possible toxicology information. We are proud that over 90% of the calls we handle can be resolved over the phone, saving unnecessary medical costs (ER visits, ambulance transports, decreased length of stay in the hospital). Last year, the IPC saved Illinois taxpayers over $52 million.
The key element of our success is our poison specialists, who field these calls day after day with concern, respect and experience. All of our specialists are health care professionals specially trained in toxicology, dedicated to helping anyone who has come into contact with a potentially harmful substance.
Dr Frederick Ang, PharmD, SPI
Dr Abrar Baig, PharmD, CSPI
Dr Reggie Brown, MD, CSPI
Tony Burda, Rph, CSPI, DABAT
Sharon Cook, BS
Amy Deitche, BSN, RN, CSPI
Jerome Dimaano, RN, CSPI
Briggetta Ducre, RN, CSPI
Tracy Esposito, RN, CSPI
Connie Fischbein, BS, CSPI
Marco Gonzalez, PIP
Dr Samia Haider, PharmD, SPI
Babbs Hoard, EMT-P
Karen Hoeller, Rph, CSPI
Cindy Howard, RN, CSPI
Dr Art Kubic, PharmD, CSPI
Dr Jessica Metz, PharmD, CSPI
Dr Erin Pallasch, PharmD, CSPI
Miguel Razo, RN, CSPI
Dr Todd Sigg, PharmD, CSPI
Jessica Sims, BS
Dr Mike Strugala, PharmD, CSPI
Dr Cheryl Webster, PharmD, CSPI
*CSPI: Certified Specialist in Poison Information
Illinois residents can call the poison center for information or help for free. The IPC is a non-profit organization. Federal and state grants and appropriations provide 60% of our funding, and we depend on these grants as well as private donations from foundations and individuals to cover our costs.
We would love to hear what you thought about our blog-a-thon, please leave a comment below.
Don’t forget to check out the “My Child Ate…” resource center which gives toxicity level and treatment information for the most common substances/products ingested by children. Click here to request a free Complimentary/Safety Brochure (includes sticker and magnet) or take advantage of the free, online Poison Prevention Education Course and Resource Center.
Posted: June 16th, 2015 | Tags: poisonous snake, snake bite, Ts of a snake bite, venomous snake | No Comments »
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 »
Posted: May 20th, 2015 | Tags: black widow, brown recluse, poisonous spider, spider bite, venomous spider | No Comments »
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 »
Posted: April 21st, 2015 | No Comments »
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!
Read more »
Posted: March 19th, 2015 | Tags: overdose, Poison Center, poison center calls, poison exposure, poisoning | 2 Comments »
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 »
Posted: January 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
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 »
Posted: December 11th, 2014 | Tags: button battery, dangerous toys, magnet ingestion | No Comments »
Gift giving season is upon us, and most of us have a child on our gift list. There are a few toys that bring out the scrooge in us here at IPC, because of the dangers they pose to children if ingested.
The first problematic item is one that contains a button cell battery. Button cell or disc batteries are coin shaped batteries used in a variety of electronic items such as toys, remote controls, musical greeting cards and hearing aids. Read more »
Posted: November 24th, 2014 | Tags: campylobacter, food borne illness, food poisoning, holiday poisoning, norovirus, perfringens, salmonella, staph, staph poisoning | No Comments »
The holidays are a time of celebration and joy, connecting and reconnecting with friends and family. Many gatherings will have an abundance of food. Holiday feasts however, can be tricky; home chefs are often preparing a meal they don’t normally cook, and they’re preparing it for a larger group than usual. For many parties, different types of foods are often out in the open for extended periods of time. This can set the stage for some types of food borne illness (AKA food poisoning). Read more »