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 … more
A few years ago we published a case report of a fatal ingestion of the Yew plant in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It was one of two deaths reported to the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) due to this plant in the 12 years that I have been associated with the Illinois … more
Jimson Weed, (scientific name Datura stramonium) is a toxic plant found all over Illinois. Some of its other common names include devil’s trumpet, thorn apple, Jamestown weed, stinkweed, and locoweed. This plant grows throughout Illinois, either wild or as part of a planned landscape. It has a beautiful flower that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe to paint … more
By Tony and Carol Every holiday season brings forth its own set of poisoning hazards to adults, children and pets. The Fourth of July holiday poses unique opportunities for a Darwin Award. No matter what the holiday, one potential toxin guaranteed to be ubiquitous is alcoholic beverages. As Tony says, recalling the old proverb for … more
In the event of a disaster, the Illinois Poison Center can play many roles: Provide patient treatment guidelines to health care providers at their respective treatment facilities Provide patient management information to on-scene emergency responders Assist in antidote procurement Answer calls from the general public on when to seek care for a potential exposure (triage) … more
By Erin Pallasch, PharmD and IPC call center specialist We all know that when something really frightening happens to a child, the first person we are most likely to turn to for advice is Grandma. Whether it is our real grandmother or a friend/relative surrogate grandmother, she is always available with soothing words and the best advice … more
By: Carol and Tony Sunshine and warm weather are here. The days are longer, schools have ended, the critters are out and the flowers are blooming. Families are outside enjoying the company of one another and everyone is active. Warmer weather means one thing for the IPC …call volume is on the rise. Historically, we get about 10-20% … more
By Carol, Yesterday, I went for a walk around my neighborhood in the 89 degree temperatures and thought to myself– summer is officially here. I went to the grocery store and spotted one of my favorite summer foods of all time: cherries. I bought a bag and as I popped one off its stem, I … more
The air is a little less cold; the sun is out a little bit longer. Plans are being made for the spring clean up as we head into Memorial Day and warmer weather. As parents, this is a great time of year. Neighborhood kids who have been in a 4 month hibernation come over to … more
By Carol If you’ve been watching the news or reading the paper lately, you may have heard about a legal marijuana substitute known by names such as K2, space, spice, magic potpourri, and the like. The name K2 is presumed to be named after the real K2, a mountain in the Karakoram Range, that is … more
Toxicity Hazards of Household Drain Cleaners By: Tony Burda and Irene Hong The title of this piece is a common question asked by students, residents, and new employees undergoing training at the Illinois Poison Center (IPC). I could come up with several things that are pretty scary for kids and pets to get into, such … more
This month, the Chicago Tribune published a tragic story of a life cut short by inhalant abuse. Inhalants are one of the most commonly used methods to get high among young adolescents. The Monitoring the Future surveys show that in 2009, 15% of eighth graders had abused inhalants in their lifetimes.
By Carol In honor of the warmer weather and sunshine, IPC will feature one toxic plant per month on our blog. The plants of the world are filled with chemical compounds that interact with receptors in the human body and many of them have quite a long sordid history (and present) in art, literature and … more
Last week, a Chicago Mom Blogger posted her experience with the Illinois Poison Center (IPC). Accidental pediatric ingestions of potentially harmful substances make up over 50% of our calls in Illinois; we receive 40,000 to 45,000 calls annually regarding children 5 and under. There are over 1.2 million calls in the U.S. fielded by designated … more
By Tony and special guest blogger Heather Ipema A common telephone call to the IPC starts with a person coughing, sniffling, short of breath, and having difficulty finishing sentences. The caller wonders if it is due to poisoning from mixing bathroom cleaners. Determined to really disinfect the entire germy bathroom, the caller has made the … more
By Tony, and guest blogger Lisa Klodnicki During the past 10-15 years, the use of syrup of ipecac (SOI) to induce vomiting as a treatment for poisoning has fallen out of favor. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that SOI “should no longer be used routinely as a poison treatment intervention in the home” and … more
March 14th-20th has been proclaimed National Poison Prevention Week. This is the time of year that all educators for the IPC put forth that extra effort to educate and inform the public of the dangers of unintentional poisonings. I am still amazed each time I attend a public event the number of people who stop … more
What is it going to cost you? Make no doubt about it; these are tough times for non-profit health services, especially those that have a limited ability to charge for their services. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the financial benefits a poison center provides to its designated region. As we work through social … more
Truths and Tales about Tetrahydrozoline Toxicity By: Jen, Tony, Carol and Mike (aka Moe, Larry, Curley and Shemp) We bet this is a new one for you armchair, quasi-forensic toxicologists and pseudo-crime detectives to pontificate. Something as seemingly simple as a small bottle of non-prescription eye drops can pack a big wallop to small kids … more
Critically Important: Help Restore State Funding for the Illinos Poison Center Please help by signing an electronic e-letter to Governor Quinn and the IL State Assembly ASAP!
This year’s slogan says it all: “If you shouldn’t have taken it, eaten it, touched it or let it bite you, call the experts who can help…1.800.222.1222.”
We hope you enjoyed our day in the life of the Poison Center blog-a-thon yesterday. Those 282 cases represent just a single day here at IPC; that translates to over 100,000 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 … more
A 38 year old woman got out of the shower and did not have her glasses on. She 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 over the counter sleeping … more
A 2 year old ingested an unknown amount of moisturizing body butter. A 69 year old male inadvertently swallowed a Spiriva capsule instead of using it in his powder inhaler.
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 tablets.