Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Texas Poison Center Network Wants you to Know What to do if you have had too Much to Drink

New Year’s Eve is the time of year when many gather together with friends and family and welcome the New Year.  Frequently, some tend to include drinking alcohol into the celebration.  Last year, a 13 year old girl, in the Austin area, died from alcohol poisoning when she had too much to drink.  Not knowing what to do, her friends dropped her off in her driveway, where she was found dead. 

Since then, Texas has passed a new law.  If a minor is drinking with a group of friends and suspects someone may be experiencing alcohol poisoning, as long as they stay on scene until First Responders arrive, they will not face charges.

The Central Texas Poison Center wants you to be safe this New Year by offering these signs for you to watch for if you are with people that are drinking.  

Mental Confusion
Snoring/gasping for air
Throwing up

Hypothermia/cold and clammy skin
Erratic breathing
Loss of consciousness
Paleness or blueness of skin

It is recommended that if you will be drinking to always have a sober companion that can respond in case of an emergency.  

When in doubt, give the Poison Center a shout, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Our specially trained pharmacists, nurses, or physicians are available to answer your call for FREE and all calls are treated confidential, 1-800-222-1222.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Beware of Popular Laundry Packs that Resemble Candy

Poison control centers want you to be aware of popular laundry packs that can pose serious risks to children. These single-dose detergent capsules have a candy-like appearance and consist of a highly concentrated liquid that dissolves in the washing machine. But because they are so colorful and soft, they are attractive to children and become a possible poison in the home.

If a child were to put the laundry detergent packs into their mouth, it could cause a child to become very ill and possibly even require hospitalization. Poison centers to date have dealt with over 9,000 cases of kids five or younger being exposed to these single-load laundry packets. In some cases, children have gotten it into their eye causing severe irritation.

When a person swallows conventional laundry detergent, it can cause mild stomach problems- but this is not the case with the new laundry packs. Some children who have gotten the product in their mouths have had excessive vomiting, wheezing and gasping. Some get very sleepy. Some have had breathing problems serious enough to need a ventilator to help them breathe. There have also been reports of corneal abrasions (scratches to the eyes) when the detergent gets into a child’s eyes.

According to poison control officials, there has already been at least one fatality from the ingestion of these laundry packs. These laundry packs can be very dangerous for children. Here are some tips on how to keep these out of your child’s reach:

-       Keep detergent locked up out of sight and out of their reach

-       Always follow instructions on a product label

-       If you think your child has been exposed to any laundry detergent, but especially the highly concentrated laundry detergent packs, call your local poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222. 

For more information on these laundry detergent capsules, please visit http://www.aapcc.org/alerts/laundry-detergent-packets/ or call 1-800-222-1222.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Keep your Family and Friends Safe this Thanksgiving!

On Thanksgiving, we hustle and bustle to prepare a delicious and memorable meal for our visiting family and friends.  With the added stress and business the holiday brings, often times we end up with accidental poisonings.  Spend quality time with your family and friends this Thanksgiving in the comfort of your home instead of in a hospital room.  To prevent anyone being poisoned this Thanksgiving, follow these steps:

To prevent food poisoning:

  • Wash hands with soap and warm running water for at least 15 to 20 seconds before preparing any foods and especially after handling raw meat, poultry, fish or eggs.
  • Keep preparation and storage areas clean; this includes countertops, stovetops and refrigerators.
  • Wash utensils between each use. Never reuse utensils; this is a source of contamination.
  • Do not defrost meat or poultry on the counter at room temperature. Thaw it in the refrigerator or microwave instead.
  • Use a meat thermometer to confirm that meat, pork and poultry are properly cooked; visit www.foodsafety.gov for proper temperatures.
  • Do not prepare food if you are sick or have any type of nose or eye infection.
  • Store raw food below cooked food in the refrigerator so raw food cannot drip into cooked food and contaminate it.
  • Use separate cutting boards for meats, poultry and fish.  
  • Ensure leftovers will be just as good the next day, properly seal and store food in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Leaving perishable foods, such as meats and dairy products, out longer than two hours significantly increases the risk of food poisoning.
  • When in doubt…throw it out!
To prevent other poisonings:

·         Designate a safe place for visitors to place all of their belongings, so that curious children do not stumble upon medications or other dangers in a loved one’s purse or bag.
·         When sharing holiday spirits, ensure all alcoholic beverages are stored away from children.  Alcohol poisoning to a child can be fatal!
·         Don’t forget about your pets!  Our little furry friends can get into trouble when rummaging for goodies in the trash and other places throughout the house.

If you have questions about Thanksgiving poison dangers or any other poison exposure, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 for free, expert advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Friday, November 22, 2013

FDA Issues Emergency Recall of OxyElite Pro and VERSA-1 due to Associated Hepatitis and Death

Following actions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a Texas-based company has agreed to recall and destroy a dietary supplement linked to dozens of cases of acute liver failure and hepatitis, including one death and illnesses so severe that several patients required liver transplants.

In addition to the recall of certain OxyElite Pro products, USPLabs assured FDA officials that it will destroy warehouse stocks of the supplement, with a retail value of about $22 million. The FDA will oversee the destruction of the product.

Since September, the FDA has urged the public to avoid using products labeled as OxyElite Pro or VERSA-1. Questions? Call the experts at 1-800-222-1222.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Texas Poison Center Network: What You Need to Know

Welcome to the blog spot for the Texas Poison Center Network! Here you will find fun facts, myth-busters and general information that could help you if you ever find yourself dealing with an exposure to a toxin or poison. The Texas Poison Center Network was established in 1993 to help provide emergency treatment information to the citizens of Texas for poisonings or toxic exposures.

Most individuals are aware that when they are in an emergency, they should dial 9-1-1. But did you know that if you have an exposure to a poisoning, you can get help just as quickly by dialing the free hotline (1-800-222-1222) and speaking with a certified specialist? Here is what you need to know about poison control centers and how they can help you:

·         By dialing 1-800-222-1222, you have access to a network of nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, and physicians who have extensive education, training and expertise in the field of toxicology.

·         The network is composed of six geographically diverse poison centers residing in host hospitals, linked by a sophisticated telecommunications network. When calling this FREE service, a person will have the opportunity to speak directly to a health care professional trained in various aspects of toxicology and poison control and preventions.

·         Even if it is not an emergency but you are still looking for information on poisonings, please feel free to call the poison hotline. Our specialists are not only specially trained to handle poison emergencies but also to provide information that can help prevent a possible poisoning.

The poison control network can help with many issues including drug, medical, occupational, prevention/safety, and environmental information. So if you are unsure if you can take two different types of medications together, you can call us. If you are exposed to a chemical or have accidently ingested a poisonous product then please call us. The Texas Poison Center Network is here to help! Write this number down and keep it near your phone: 1-800-222-1222. Even better yet, take the time to program the number into your phone now! It’s a free service that can potentially save your life.