‘Tis the season for family, friends, fun, and . . . food poisoning (ewww). For some unfortunate merrymakers, holiday feasts will start in the dining room and end in the bathroom. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that every year, more than 76 million people fall victim to a foodborne illness. … more
Halloween is a real treat for humans, but not so much for our pets. Did you know that chocolate is toxic to all mammals, but only dogs will eat a potentially fatal amount? The darker the chocolate, the worse it is for a dog, since milk chocolate and white chocolate are diluted with other ingredients.
With Labor Day quickly approaching, many families will enjoy one last poolside outing before summer ends. Unfortunately for nervous swimmers, while the iconic music from the 1975 film Jaws can be unnerving, giant human-eating sharks aren’t the only things to worry about when heading out for a dip. In the past couple of years, the … more
OMG! Uh oh. Geez! Duh. Shoot! Yep, we’ve heard these exclamations time and time again. We all strive to do what’s best for our families by keeping our children safe and our homes clean. However, once in a while, some of the methods we use to achieve these goals totally backfire and can have minor—or … more
Hemp, used to make sails, clothing and rope, was a staple agricultural product in America from the 1600s to the early 1900s. Marijuana or cannabis (e.g. flowers and leaves of female hemp plant) is a by-product of hemp production. (Image Source: Kentucky Hemp Farmers Assoc and Popular Mechanics 1938)
‘Tis the season to be jolly—but mixing alcohol and certain prescription medications is no laughing matter. The holiday season brings an abundance of parties with family and friends and very often a few glasses of liquid cheer. With higher alcohol consumption rates during the holiday season and an increasing number of people using multiple prescription … more
Every year, the largest toxicology conference of the world–the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology–brings together toxicologists from around the globe to learn from each other and present research that impacts all of us. At this year’s conference, three fascinating abstracts on laundry pods. If not interested in the study details, scroll down to “My take … more
In May, a paper published in Annals of Emergency Medicine highlighted two deaths from loperamide abuse. Loperamide is the active ingredient in Imodium, a common and readily available anti-diarrheal medication. How available? A 400-pill bottle at Costco can be purchased for $7.59.
EMS, Emergency Medical Service, is much more than a ride to the hospital. It is a system of coordinated response and emergency medical care, involving multiple people and agencies. It is activated by a call for help, usually by a call to 911, after an incident of serious illness or injury. The Illinois Poison Center … more
The 3rd week in March has been designated as National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) by each and every President since John F. Kennedy started the tradition in 1962. The Illinois Poison Center is a strong advocate of poison prevention and has worked with the Governor, Legislature and City of Chicago to have the entire month of … more
The first time a large outbreak of people sickened by synthetic cannabinoids occurred was in March of 2010, when several dozen people presented to emergency departments in Missouri. Despite Illinois’ close proximity to MO, for the rest of that year, there were only 4 cases reported to the Illinois Poison Center, mostly in the Southern … 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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
It’s that time of year! No, I’m not talking about the holidays, I’m talking about the ‘best of’ lists that everyone is writing now that 2013 is coming to a close. In honor of the 4th anniversary of the IPC blog, here are our top 10 most popular blogs since 2009:
Future access to poison information services: The first poison center in the U.S. started in Chicago in 1953 with a lone pharmacist, Louis Gdalman, a stack of carefully crafted index cards and a rotary phone. Over the ensuing years, the index cards became microfiche; microfiche became floppy discs; floppy discs became CDs. The lone pharmacist … more
(from the American Association of Poison Control Centers) We had the wonderful opportunity to ask Deborah Blum, a New York Times Bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and expert on poison subjects, a few questions. Blum is a self-proclaimed fan of the poison center system and shared her views on everything from science education to … more
The IPC receives calls on almost 74,000 exposure calls per year on a wide variety of different substances—medicines, household cleaners, plants/mushrooms, chemicals, bug bites and stings, food poisoning, recreational drugs, environmental toxins and more. If it’s potentially harmful, you can call the IPC about it! A common question we get is, “What substances do you … more
Last week we discussed the ins and outs of the new Illinois medical marijuana bill. Being poison experts, we are naturally interested in the consequences of this law on poison prevention and child safety. How will the medical marijuana law affect kids in Illinois? To help us answer this question, we searched for any data … more
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you have heard about the new Illinois Medical Marijuana bill. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (what a mouthful) was approved on August 1, 2013 making Illinois the 20th state to allow medical marijuana use.