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“My Child Ate… Nature!”

Posted: October 4th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Bleeeaaauuugghh!!

Nasty!!!

Eeeeeewwww!!

 How many times have you squealed aloud after discovering your child has recently delved into what they believe to be a culinary delight but you know to be just plain gross?

While getting outside to allow your brood some time to release excess energy is the primary goal, it may lead to unexpected, and often quite disgusting ingestions. Read more »


Toxicology in a Combat Support Hospital

Posted: November 9th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

In observance of Veteran’s Day (11/11) we invite you to take a journey into the life of one soldier’s remarkable experience while deployed overseas in Mosul, Iraq.

Shortly after finishing my fellowship in medical toxicology, I began an active duty commitment with the United States Army.  Within eight months I was deployed to the 47th Combat Support Hospital (CSH, pronounced “cash”) in Mosul, Iraq.  My primary role was an emergency medicine physician, working in the ER caring for soldiers, local nationals, and occasionally insurgents.  Unless injured from combat operations, our CSH didn’t provide medical care for Iraqi civilians.  Occasionally we made exceptions to provide compassionate care for children who needed our help.  As a toxicologist, I didn’t have many cases in Iraq.  There was an occasional scorpion sting but not much else…   

Life was fairly simple:  take care of patients, exercise, read, sleep- then repeat daily.  We joked that it was like the movie “Groundhog Day,” where every day seemed to be a repeat of the day before.  Frequent incoming mortar fire kept most of us military rookies from sleeping well at night; often feeling on-edge, waiting for the next round of mortars to hit.  Read more »


Watch Out for Those Scary Berries!

Posted: July 20th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

By Erin Pallasch, PharmD and IPC Call Center Specialist

Recently, I set out on a quest to determine which would be the scariest berry ingestion a parent might call the Illinois Poison Center about.  There are many toxic berries out there, but the one I would be most concerned with would be the Chinaberry. The ingestion of only 6-8 berries has been reported as fatal in a child.  The good news is we don’t have any berries this toxic native to Illinois. Whew! Chinaberries have a large range of toxicity depending on the region they grow in and although these berries can be found in Hawaii, Texas and from Florida to Virginia, the fatalities reported have been from eating the African species. I’m relieved to know I am not likely to get a call about these berries here at the IPC, BUT we have plenty of berries native to Illinois to keep us quite busy.   Read more »