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Toxic Pyrotechnics and other Fourth of July Hazards

Posted: June 29th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

By Tony and Carol 

Every holiday season brings forth its own set of poisoning hazards to adults, children and pets. The Fourth of July holiday poses unique opportunities for a Darwin Award. No matter what the holiday, one potential toxin guaranteed to be ubiquitous is alcoholic beverages. As Tony says, recalling the old proverb for this particular holiday: “He who drinks a fifth on the 4th, does not go forth on the 5th.” Read more »


“There are Bold Mushroom Pickers, and There are Old Mushroom Pickers…”

Posted: June 22nd, 2010 | 1 Comment »

…but there are no old, bold mushroom pickers.”

 By Tony, Connie and Carol

 Q.  What does days and days of heavy rain, plus humid weather, plus cloudy skies equal?

A.  Shrooms, man, shrooms.

Just as the weather has been conducive to mushroom growth and multiplication, the IPC has experienced a spike in calls concerning mushroom ingestions.  Over the past 5 years, the IPC typically averages 7 mushroom cases per week, May through September (also known as “shroom season”), but this year we’ve handled an average of  12 cases per week in late May and early June. That’s almost double the usual number!

Most mushroom calls to the IPC involve small children who become intrigued by the appearance of little brown mushrooms sprouting in the lawn, playground or field. Fortunately, most of these accidental poisonings do not result in serious complications; most often because the species was non-toxic or the quantity ingested was minimal.  More concerning however, are the less common situations where an individual or entire family consumes a meal prepared with collected wild mushrooms they believed to be edible but in reality are poisonous. Read more »


Did You Know…Poison Centers Are a Vital Part of Disaster Response?

Posted: June 15th, 2010 | No Comments »

In the event of a disaster, the Illinois Poison Center can play many roles:

  • Provide patient treatment guidelines to health care providers at their respective treatment facilities
  • Provide patient management information to on-scene emergency responders
  • Assist in antidote procurement
  • Answer calls from the general public on when to seek care for a potential exposure (triage) so as to reduce the surge of worried individuals in hospitals thereby allowing the facilities and staff to concentrate on the truly sick and injured
  • Surveillance and real-time situational awareness through the volume and monitoring of calls received by the poison center Read more »

Could Grandma Be a Toxicologist ?

Posted: June 8th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

By Erin Pallasch, PharmD and IPC call center specialist

We all know that when something really frightening happens to a child, the first person we are most likely to turn to for advice is Grandma.  Whether it is our real grandmother or a friend/relative surrogate grandmother, she is always available with soothing words and the best advice that she has been doling out since we were babies ourselves. But while Grandma always has the best intentions, and is great to help calm us down, is Grandma really a poison specialist? Read more »


Summertime = More Calls at the IPC: 5 Reasons Why

Posted: June 1st, 2010 | 4 Comments »

By:  Carol and Tony

Sunshine and warm weather are here. The days are longer, schools have ended, the critters are out and the flowers are blooming. Families are outside enjoying the company of one another and everyone is active.  Warmer weather means one thing for the IPC …call volume is on the rise.  Historically, we get about 10-20% more calls during the summer months, compared to the rest of the year.   So while you’re out this summer enjoying time with family and friends it is important to be mindful of these common summer substances that can be potentially poisonous: Read more »