An 11 month old child was playing with the tube of diaper cream while his father changed his diaper. He bit into the tube and ingested a mouthful of the cream. EMS called because they are transporting a patient found by his wife; she woke up this morning to find that he was on the … more
Want to know what it is like to work at a poison center? Ever wonder just what type of calls we receive? All of these calls are typical of the type of calls the IPC gets on any given day. They are presented in a simulated call timeframe and details have been changed to protect … more
In September 2014, 147 people at North Mac Middle School in Girard, IL, were rushed to local hospitals after being poisoned with carbon monoxide. A gas water heater had malfunctioned (despite passing inspection a few months previous). By law, homes in Illinois are required to have a working carbon monoxide detector—not so for schools.
Gift giving season is upon us, and most of us have a child on our gift list. There are a few toys that bring out the scrooge in us here at IPC, because of the dangers they pose to children if ingested. The first problematic item is one that contains a button cell battery. Button … 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
You know that taking too much medication is dangerous. But did you realize that abruptly stopping a medication after taking it regularly can be just as dangerous?
Two stories appeared in the news recently, each describing accidental poisonings with chemical cleaners that occurred in restaurants. It’s important to note that cleaning chemicals such as the ones described in these stories can also be found in the home. These incidents can serve as examples of injuries that can happen when poison prevention practices … more
Have you ever given your child a liquid medication? If so, there is a pretty good chance that you may have given your child the wrong dose. This topic was the subject of a recently published article in the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study found that approximately 40% of parents made an error in … more
The IPC receives about 80,000 calls each year regarding poisonings; in 2013 over 50,000 of those were calling from their home about an exposure that occurred there. Luckily, we were able to keep 90% of those people at home, without the need to go to an emergency room or doctor’s office for their exposure. That … more
Occasionally, the IPC gets a call regarding a family that was inadvertently ‘served’ a poison added to their food by a well-meaning home chef. Most of our case studies relate back to IPC’s core poison prevention messages and this one is no different. Today’s lesson is never store chemicals or cleaning products near food.
Today’s case study involves poisoning exposures that occurred because a potentially harmful substance was stored in the wrong container. One of the IPC’s core poison prevention messages is always store chemicals, cleaning products, and medications in their original containers. There are good reasons for this: The usage directions are always with the product The substance … more
Welcome to the second installment of The Case Files of the IPC. Today’s case study involves taking medicine twice instead of once. It happens to the best of us. The two most common times to take medication is in the morning and at bedtime—times when there are a lot of other things going on. Also, … more
Here at the IPC we get a lot of interesting calls, as you might imagine. We get gross calls, calls about dares, calls about kids, calls about really toxic stuff, and calls about less toxic stuff. It is all just another day at the IPC for our experts, who manage over 80,000 poisoning cases each … 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:
It is that time of year where friends and family come together to share a very special holiday: Thanksgiving. As you are celebrating this wonderful time of the year, take a little time out to reflect on the value of the services that IPC provides you year around.
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.
Have you heard about the new stomach bug sweeping the U.S.? Recently, the media has reported an outbreak of a new stomach bug spreading through the Midwest. To date, there have been hundreds of cases of people affected by this critter, with the highest counts occurring in Iowa followed by Texas. Did you know that since … more
Everyone at some point has cringed while watching the Hollywood version of their profession butchered in a movie. For example, law enforcement hates how police are shown jumping rooftops, forensics experts take minutes to find evidence, and attorneys take a couple hours in a courtroom to convict a perpetrator. We in the poison business have … more