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
IPC specialists are healthcare professionals specially trained in toxicology. The person who will answer your call is a physician, pharmacist, nurse or other healthcare provider who, on average, has over 15 years of experience at the IPC. Collectively, our current staff has handled over 1.2 million cases regarding an exposure to a potentially harmful substance. … 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
Child-resistant caps are an important safety feature on the bottles of medications or other household substances (e.g. toilet bowl cleaner). The IPC recommends that they are used on all bottles in homes with children because they can reduce the incidence of poisoning. What is critically important to remember, though, is that these caps are child-resistant, … more
Kids and adults alike received many toys over the recent holiday season. Many of these toys have something in common—they are powered by button batteries. Button cell or disc batteries are coin shaped batteries used in electronic items such as toys, remote controls, hearing aids, musical greeting cards, calculators, and other small devices.
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
October 21, 2015—the date when Doc and Marty come to the future from 1985 in the movie Back to the Future II. I remember watching those movies repeatedly when I was little, and marveling about the differences between 1985 life and the imagined 2015 life. 2015 is here, and needless to say, a lot has … more
The IPC is consulted on over 80,000 poisoning cases each year—about 30,000 of those cases involve a nondrug household-use product. That is over 80 each day! Household-use products include cleaners, hydrocarbons, pesticides, automotive products, and personal care products like soaps and lotions. Luckily, most unintentional exposures to these substances results in minor or no toxicity … 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
By Carol 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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
A 38 year old woman got out of the shower, did not have her glasses on and reached for her aerosol spray deodorant but instead used Scrubbing Bubbles. A 23 year old female was brought to the ER after confessing to her mother that she had ingested several handfuls of her medication.
A 2 year old ingested an unknown amount of moisturizing body butter. A father called; when he went to check on his sleeping 11 month old son on his way to bed, he found that the baby had pulled off his diaper and eaten some of the absorbent diaper material inside.
A woman called because she had reached into her bathroom cabinet in the dark for a tube of personal lubricant and accidentally used toothpaste instead. A 5 year old ingested up to 10 of his own Singulair.
An ER called requesting treatment advice regarding a 26 year old intoxicated male who was bit by his pet rattlesnake on the neck. He was showing off the snake to his friends at a party and placed it around his neck. A father called after cooking tater tots in the oven; after his kids ate … more
An ER called requesting treatment advice regarding a 74 year old female ingested unknown amount of diltiazem and metformin A 4 year old inadvertently brushed his teeth with Bengay muscle rub instead of toothpaste.
Caller took a beer out of the minbar in a hotel and quickly realized after one swig that it was urine. Someone had drunk the beer, then filled it with urine and put it back to avoid being charged. A mother called after finding her 2 year old son chewing on an AA battery he … more
After playing basketball, an 18 year old male took two large swigs from a Gatorade bottle that he found in his friend’s Jeep. Turns out it was windshield wiper fluid the friend had transferred to the smaller bottle to make it more portable. While crawling in the kitchen, a 10 month old bit into a … more
A mother called because her 18 year old son was dared to drink a bottle of hot sauce. He developed significant vomiting and diarrhea. A 37 year old male inadvertently took two of his daughter’s Depakote tablets, thinking they were Tylenol.
A caller was trying to unclog a stubborn drain and poured drain cleaner and bleach into the sink at the same time. He immediately began having nose and eye burning and coughing.
A 3 year old child ingested a mouthful of calamine lotion. A 2 year old got into grandmother’s pill box and may have ingested up to one each of lisinopril, prednisone and atorvastatin.
An ER called regarding two adult patients who presented with bluish tinged skin (cyanosis). They had made their own beef jerky at home and had added 5 times too much sodium nitrate as a preservative. A preschool teacher would like to have someone from IPC to come out and give a poison prevention lecture to … more
A mom called, she is visiting her friend (who uses e-cigarettes) and found her 2 year old sucking the liquid out of the E-cigarette device. An adult caller was using a Brillo pad to clean a stain on his underwear. As a result of vigorously scrubbing, some of the Brillo cleanser flew into his eye.