On a hot August day in the 1930s, ten strangers were lured to an island mansion by the mysterious U. N. Owen. Over dinner, a recording played, and the voice of an unseen host accused each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston was found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalated as the survivors realized the killer was not only among them but was preparing to strike again and again.
This is not a true story, but one of Agatha Christie’s best-selling novels (first published in 1939). However, cyanide poisoning is very real, but more on that and the IPC’s role in the unsolved Chicago Tylenol Murders in our next blog post. Lucky for us, since 1953 Illinois residents and healthcare professionals have had access to an expert, confidential national poison center helpline (1.800.222.1222) for common and rare toxic exposures, something Agatha Christie’s characters would have benefited from a great deal! With a touch of a button, anyone can call 24/7/365 for questions about and/or treatment advice for potentially toxic substances (usually takes less than a minute to talk to an expert!).
By the way, 2018 marks the 65th anniversary of the IPC and decades of public education efforts. Speaking of public education, here are just a few of our favorites; some very humorous, and some, like the first one, being on the darker side:
Weren’t those a hoot!? These days we have a variety of FREE (not so dark or terrifying) education materials in multiple languages available to the public:
- “My Child Ate…”
- Text to Save
- Multi-Media Center : videos for all ages, children’s activity sheets, games, IPC jingle, etc.
- Complimentary Safety Packet
- Online Poison Prevention Education Course
- Continuing Education Credit (CEC)
- Stickers, magnets, more children’s activity sheets/books, posters, presentation tools, etc.
…And a slew of other FREE education tools, campaigns and fun activities (listed below), not to mention a chance to win a limited edition double-walled IPC insulated thermos! Click here for details.
Lastly, and most importantly, the IPC staff would like to thank the thousands of volunteers, volunteer satellite centers, healthcare professionals and organizations for their help in creating safer home, play, work and learning environments throughout Illinois. A special thanks to the Toxikon Consortium (medical toxicologists provide 24/7/365 medical backup to IPC) as well as the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and all U.S. Poison Centers. You ROCK!!
Stay tuned for our next blog (August) when Dr. Mike Wahl, IPC Medical Director, will share some of the most fascinating IPC poisoning cases involving cyanide, blow fish, fake weed contaminated with rat poison, etc.!
Have a safe, fun-filled summer! Vickie
P.S. Don’t forget to check out:
- Between July 25-Aug 31: Free posters, stickers, magnets, children’s activity sheets (limited quantities available)
- A Day in the Life of a Poison Center
- IPC News Subscription (blog, alerts and/or seasonal poison prevention tips)
- Blog archive
- Radiolab: Poison Control
- Testimonials – What people are saying about the IPC
- IL Poison Prevention Month/National Poison Prevention Week (March)
- Volunteer Recognition Month
- Seasonal Poison Prevention education information and materials
- Information for healthcare providers
- IPC logo for your site
- IPC 65th Anniversary