The Texas Poison Center blog is here to provide useful information and tips on dealing with toxins and poisons that we are sometimes unintentionally exposed to in or out of the home. This blog is not meant to replace calling a Poison Control Center. Poison centers offer free medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.
1.Tell me your history
with poison control. How long have you worked there/what is your background:
I have been with the South Texas Poison Center since early
2018.Before this appointment I was
working with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.I have been working in various operations
and administration roles in the public and private sector for the last 20
years. I am excited to be a part of the Texas Poison Control Network.
2.What do you think is
one of the most important aspects of poison control services?
The most important aspect of the poison control service is a
role that specialists in poison information (SPI) play as direct service
providers in emergency situations.Through poison centers the public has access to our experienced and
knowledgeable healthcare practitioners.Our team of SPIs offer poison prevention and treatment advice in English
3.What do you enjoy
most about your job and why?
I enjoy my job because I am making a difference in someone’s
life every day.I have the privilege of working
with a great team to achieve the mission of the South Texas Poison Center
(STPC) and the Texas Poison Control Network (TPCN). As a team, we serve
thousands of people a year with a strong service commitment and dedication to
the community. My role is to ensure that service operations of the center are
efficient and effective. I have a unique opportunity to guide the organization
and provide a vision for the future by creating strategies and infrastructures.
4.What do you think
the public needs to know regarding poison control?
I think the public needs to know that the poison centers are
staffed with certified medical practitioners.The value that their knowledge and experience brings to the center is
significant.I would also like them to
know that our teams truly get invested in every call and ensuring the
communication of accurate healthcare information to improve the outcomes in
each specific case.
5.Share a funny story
here that might have happened on the job.
As a new Director there have been plenty of funny and
frustrating first experiences. The most recent happened when I was scheduled to
attend my first CSEC meeting in Austin.I had my directions and parking information on hand.I timed my travel to ensure that I would
arrive on time. Once I arrived to the CSEC building I could not find the
parking garage and did not have much time to spare.I called the office they reiterated the
directions but I still could not locate the parking area. After a few times
(estimating about 4 times) around the building, I finally saw the
entrance.If you have never visited the
building, the entrance to the parking garage actually slopes down underneath
the building but it is masked by the public sidewalk. There is no garage
entrance sign as one would expect.Needless to say, I parked, made my way up to the offices and with only a
few minutes to spare-another crisis averted!
The Texas summer heat is in full effect, and it is important
to be aware of snakes in rural and wildlife areas, and particularly
rattlesnakes. Since many people enjoy hiking, biking and other outdoor
activities during the summer months, there is an increased chance of running
Encountering a rattlesnake in the wild can be a scary
experience, but it is important to stay calm and give the snake plenty of
space. You want to make sure there are at least five feet between you and the
snake at all times.While rattlesnakes
are venomous, the good news is that if you leave it alone, it will most likely
leave you alone too. If you have children or pets with you when you come in
contact with a snake, make sure to protect them by keeping them as far away from
it as possible.
Recently, people have found rattlesnakes in their backyards
hiding under shrubs, piles of debris and anything else they can easily hide
under. While it might be tempting to get close to the snake to get a better
look or even try to kill it, it is better to give it space and leave it alone.Approaching a snake will only increase your
chances of getting bitten.Contact a professional
to remove the snake if it’s in your property. It is important to remind the
professional when they come out to remove the snake to also to check the rest
of your yard for other snakes, just to make sure.
If you get bitten by a rattlesnake, call 911 or get to a hospital right away! Call poison control while
help arrives or while on your way to the hospital at 1-800-222-1222.
Initial symptoms may include:
•Bloody discharge from wound
•Progressive swelling starting at the bite sites
•Burning and redness
•Dizziness and/or blurred vision
•Nausea and vomiting
•Fainting or convulsions
wait for symptoms to show up, get help right away!