- In children ages six and younger, the most common exposures are to medicines, personal care and cleaning products.
- Child-resistant packages are not childproof. Most two-year olds can open a child-resistant container in 3 minutes or less.
- Calling 1-800-222-1222 from anywhere in the United States will connect you to your local poison center.
- Keep all poisons locked up and out of reach of children.
- Never refer to medicine (prescription, vitamins or otherwise) as candy as children often mistake tiny pills for yummy candy.
- Get fuel burning appliances checked yearly and make sure working carbon monoxide detectors are installed in your home and checked twice a year. This is especially important for the winter months.
Monday, March 19, 2018
This week marks Poison Prevention Week 2018 and the Texas Poison Center Network is here to help educate & keep your friends and family poison-free! In 1961, the United States designated the third full week of March as National Poison Prevention Week, a week dedicated to teaching, educating and raising awareness about poisonings. This year marks the 56th year and acts as a reminder that poisonings are currently the leading cause of injury related death in the country. But as with most injuries, many can be prevented and for those that aren’t, a poison expert is only a phone call away and ready to assist you.
Each year 250,000 calls regarding potential poisonings are received by Texas poison centers alone. In 2016, poison centers in the US received approximately 2,159 million calls on poison exposures. That’s one poison exposure call every 14.6 seconds! Roughly 56% of these calls were human exposure cases involving drugs and medications. Other exposures included household and personal care products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings, carbon monoxide, and many other types of non-pharmaceutical substances. Although exposure by ingestion accounted for 79% of these cases, people were also exposed to potentially dangerous poisons through other routes like the lungs, skin, and eyes.Shockingly, more than 90% of the poisoning deaths occurred among individuals over the age of 20 and involved medications/drugs. This is actually the most common exposure among adults and a good majority of these involved opiates. According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid overdoses have quadrupled in the U.S. since 1999.
What is considered a poison?A poison is any substance, including medications, which can be harmful to your body if too much is ingested, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin. Accidental poisoning can occur when a person unintentionally takes too much of a substance without wanting to cause themselves harm.
Poisonings are more common than you think. Currently, more than two million poisonings are reported each year to poison centers in the US. And according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), approximately 90 percent of these poisonings are happening at home, with 51%of them involving children under the age of six.
Here are some poison facts and tips to remember:
What to Do in the Event of an Accidental Poisoning
In the event that you or someone with you has been potentially poisoned, always remember to first remain calm. Then immediately call the toll-free Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Follow all the instructions you are given by the poison control specialist. Many times, the poison control specialist will call back to make sure that things are okay and there is no need for further assistance. For more information on accidental poisonings and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, please visit the Texas Poison Center Network website at www.poisoncontrol.org.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
1. Tell me your history with poison control and how you became a SPI. (Length of time worked there/background/passion for this, etc.)
I have been at CRPC for 23 years in June. I previously worked retail pharmacy with H.E.B for 5 years. I developed arthritis which eventually kept me from being able to stand on my feet for long periods of time. CTPC was just starting up at BSW, and my name was given to the director, Doug Borys, by someone at the UT College of Pharmacy. It was the perfect combination of clinical and intrapersonal skill.
2. I’m sure you hear a lot of interesting stories when answering calls, but what is one story that sticks out in your head that might have been scary, but turned out funny and/or everything worked out after the call.I had two little boys who decided to paint each other with blue house paint. They realized they would probably get in trouble, so they got into the bathtub to wash the paint off. Mom walked in and saw that they were using Ajax to try and remove the paint from their skin. She laughed because they were red, white and blue.
3. What do you think people need to know about the people who answer the phones for poison control?
When you’ve been here as long as most of us have been, nothing is likely to surprise us. Please do not hesitate to call even if you think it may be embarrassing.
4. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?Every day is different and you continue to learn new things every day!
5. Why do you think it is important for people to have poison control as a resource for emergency help?Many people cannot or will not see a doctor because they cannot afford it. Our help is free and often we can help them without having to send them to a doctor. Another reason we are a good resource is because we are open 24/7/365. We never close!