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Teaching, Treating, and Problem Solving Poisonings

Posted: February 8th, 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

…A Unique Medical Partnership: Toxikon and the Illinois Poison Center

What happens if:

  • Someone is stung by a lionfish?
  • Eats a poisonous mushroom in the forest preserve?
  • Drinks a Lava Lamp?
  • Swallows too many iron pills?
  • These are all examples of problems that the partnership of the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) and the Toxikon Consortium have handled.  Toxikon, based at Cook County’s Stroger Hospital is a partnership with the University of Illinois and the IPC. Read more »


    Where’s the Antidote?!

    Posted: April 19th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

    Antidotes are sexy.  We see it in James Bond and Indiana Jones movies:  the hero has been slipped a lethal poison (usually, while wearing a tuxedo) and just in the nick of time swallows a vial of mysterious liquid that allows him to continue to save the day.

    (Watch the poisoning scene in James Bond Casino Royale)

    The word antidote can be described as the opposite or antonym of ‘poison.’  It comes from the Greek word antidoton, meaning ‘to give against’.    A common misconception about antidotes is that every poison has one.   Read more »


    Poison Prevention for Man’s Best Friend

    Posted: April 12th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

    Although the Illinois Poison Center handles calls about human-related exposures only, we know many of our readers still need poison prevention tips for their furry, four-  legged friends. Did you know there was an animal poison control center located right here in Illinois?  Well this week the ASPCA Animal Poison Control offers some great tips to keep pets safe from potentially harmful-substances.

    Most of us have heard the adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Nowhere is this more true than in veterinary medicine.  Dogs and cats are very mobile and it isn’t difficult for them to find things to get into.  Puppies and kittens explore the environment with their mouths, while bigger dogs and cats may have no problem reaching the countertops. This makes them very prone to accidental poisonings if the proper precautions are not taken. Read more »


    IPC: Providing Toxicology Consults in Illinois

    Posted: March 15th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
    Cardiologist:  a specialist in the structure and function and disorders of the heart
    Neurologist:  a medical specialist in the nervous system and the disorders affecting it
    Nephrologist: a physician who specializes in diseases of the kidneys.
    Medical Toxicologist: a specialist on the care of patients exposed to potentially hazardous or poisonous substances

    The practice of medicine is an increasingly complex academic discipline, and much like raising a family, sometimes it ‘takes a village’ of specialists to provide the best, most timely care available.  Read more »


    The Latest Buzz about Kids, Teens and Caffeinated Energy Drinks

    Posted: March 8th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

    If that second cup of coffee you just had doesn’t keep you awake tonight, here’s something that might.  A recent issue of Pediatrics reviewed the effects of caffeine and energy drinks on children, adolescents, and young adults and found several concerning conclusions.

    Did you know that over 500 new energy drink products were marketed worldwide in the last year? Also, did you know that these products are NOT regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? Because of this lack of regulation, there is no maximum dose of caffeine in energy drinks. These products can contain high amounts of caffeine, a nervous system stimulant that is commonly found in your morning coffee, tea, and soft drinks.  While caffeinated products may claim to increase exercise endurance and improve mood and memory, they are not without adverse effects, especially at higher doses.   Read more »


    It’s Illinois Poison Prevention Month!

    Posted: March 1st, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

    Poisoning still remains a very serious public health problem in the United States. People encounter poisonous and toxic substances in their homes, communities, and work environments every day. Did you know unintentional poisoning deaths are the #1 cause of injury-related deaths for children ages 18-36 months and the 2nd leading cause of injury-related deaths for U. S. adults?  Last year the IPC handled over 92,000 calls.  Approximately 52% of those calls were regarding children age 5 and under.  As part of our mission to reduce the incidence and injury of poisoning in our communities, the IPC uses the signature month of March to further spread the message of poison prevention to families and communities across Illinois. Read more »