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May S.O.I. R.I.P. (May Syrup of Ipecac Rest in Peace)

Posted: March 30th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

By Tony, and guest blogger Lisa Klodnicki

During the past 10-15 years, the use of syrup of ipecac (SOI) to induce vomiting as a treatment for poisoning has fallen out of favor.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that SOI “should no longer be used routinely as a poison treatment intervention in the home” and that everyone should safely dispose of any SOI currently in their homes.  The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) similarly published a position statement which recommended SOI use only under very limited, restricted circumstances.  This change of direction has come about for several reasons, including the fact that no studies demonstrate beneficial outcomes from its use, the risk for serious complications if SOI is given for the wrong indication, and the potential for serious toxicity with chronic misuse and abuse by patients with bulimia or other appetite disorders.  Statistics compiled by the AAPCC reveal that SOI was administered in 15% of all poisonings reported in 1985, while the incidence of its use has dramatically declined to 0.0484% in 2008. Read more »

Spring Fever and Poisonous Passion (aka Sexually Transmitted Poisons)

Posted: March 23rd, 2010 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

By Carol and our special guest blogger Dr Frank Paloucek

Sex and death share a history together in the arts and in medicine probably as far back as both coexist.  Normally, when you put the words ‘harmful’ and ‘sex’ in the same sentence, it would be one about sexually transmitted diseases (er, or maybe S & M).  But, did you know that poisons can also be transmitted via intimate contact and exposure to bodily fluids?  Reminds me of one of my favorite ‘statshots’ from the Onion®, on how ‘best to poison your adversary’:  “poison self, then have unprotected sex with adversary”.  Frank, who was my mentor in pharmacy school (and the man largely responsible for me being such a tox geek) happens to be an expert on sexually transmitted poisons (hey, everyone’s got to have a hobby) and he has graciously provided us with some of the strangest, most fascinating, but 100% true stories on how someone can be poisoned. Read more »

Making a Difference One Family at a Time

Posted: March 16th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

March 14th-20th has been proclaimed National Poison Prevention Week. This is the time of year that all educators for the IPC put forth that extra effort to educate and inform the public of the dangers of unintentional poisonings. I am still amazed each time I attend a public event the number of people who stop to tell me about their brief encounter in using the Poison Center Read more »

The downside of inadequate poison center funding

Posted: March 9th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

What is it going to cost you?

Make no doubt about it; these are tough times for non-profit health services, especially those that have a limited ability to charge for their services.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about the financial benefits a poison center provides to its designated region.  As we work through social media, traditional media and other methods unlock support for the IPC, I am continually asked, “So what?  If your funding is not restored, what is it going to cost me?”

Over the past few weeks, I have learned that while I am personally excited and enjoy talking about the upside of what poison centers provide, government agencies, donors and the media want to know the downside if we are not provided appropriate funding.  They want to know, in essence, what is the price of failure. Read more »

Tetrahydrozoline (Visine®) does more than just “get the red out®”

Posted: March 2nd, 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Truths and Tales about Tetrahydrozoline Toxicity

By: Jen, Tony, Carol and Mike (aka Moe, Larry, Curley and Shemp)

We bet this is a new one for you armchair, quasi-forensic toxicologists and pseudo-crime detectives to pontificate. Something as seemingly simple as a small bottle of non-prescription eye drops can pack a big wallop to small kids and unsuspecting victims of malicious poisoning. Read more »

CBS Channel 2 Reports on IPC State Funding Issue

Posted: March 1st, 2010 | No Comments »

Critically Important: Help Restore State Funding for the Illinos Poison Center

Please help by signing an electronic e-letter to  Governor Quinn   and  the IL State Assembly  ASAP!