Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Dangers of Ingesting Dragon’s Breath

Dragon’s Breath is a sweet treat that is made of a cereal or puff that is then dipped in liquid nitrogen. What makes it so alluring to kids is that the person eating this treat will have a smoke-looking substance come out of their mouth “like a dragon”. While it might sound like a fun item to eat, it can have potential dangers.

In New Jersey, there was a case involving a female who had to go to the hospital emergency room after ingesting two Dragon’s Breath puffs. The patient suffered from severe acid reflux.

What are the potential dangers of Dragon’s Breath, also known as Heaven’s Breath and Nitro puff?

While some frozen drinks and foods may contain traces of liquid nitrogen, it usually evaporates before individuals consume the item, making it harmless. But when liquid nitrogen is provided on a food or drink item right before it is consumed, it can lead to serious injuries similar to frostbite in the mouth and internal organs.

It can also cause (in more detail):

·         Hazards to skin, lips, tongue, gums, teeth, inside of mouth and throat.

·         People with asthma can suffer from an asthma attack from the extreme temperature change in the air they are breathing.

·         If you swallow a piece of the cereal infused with liquid nitrogen you could cause burns to your esophagus and GI tract.

·         Handling liquid nitrogen can cause burns if not handled properly.

·         Inhaling liquid nitrogen vapors is NOT recommended.

The FDA claims that serious injury can result from consumption of products with liquid nitrogen infused at the point of sale. For more on this visit: https://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/SafetyAlertsAdvisories/ucm618058.htm. Contact the your local poison center in Texas if you think you might have come in contact with liquid nitrogen and had an adverse reaction. Poison information specialists are available via 1-800-222-1222 anytime of any day, at no cost.

Friday, October 26, 2018

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is October 27th!

Do you have unused or expired medications sitting in cabinets collecting dust? Did you know that holding onto expired medications can be harmful?  Remember that all medications have an expiration date.  Not only should they not be used once expired, but if not disposed of properly, they have the potential to be misused and cause harm or poisoning. Now is the time to focus on cleaning out our medicine cabinets to get rid of all of unneeded and expired medications.

The National Prescription Take Back Day aims to provide a convenient and safe way to responsibly dispose of prescription medications, while also educating the public on the potential misuse of certain medications.

On October 27th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is sponsoring a nation-wide drug take-back and in Texas, the Texas Poison Center Network is helping out in each of their regions. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative addresses an important public safety and health issue. Prescription drugs that sit in medicine cabinets for a long period of time tend to be susceptible to misuse or accidental poisoning.
In the U.S. alone, prescription drug misuse is extremely high. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misuse controlled prescription drugs. Sadly, many misused prescription drugs were obtained from family or friends right out of their medicine cabinet. The DEA’s effort provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

By turning in unused and expired medications, you can help too! Remember, medications should not be flushed down the toilet, unless it is indicated on the label, because they can affect the clean water supply. Instead of throwing unwanted or unneeded medications in the trash (where kids or others could get them) or flushing them down the toilet (where it could contaminate the water), head to your nearest medication take-back location and turn them in.
By providing a drug take-back day, people have the opportunity to dispose of medications in an environmentally responsible and safe way. You will be doing yourself, your family, and your community a great service!  For more information on this initiative or to find a collection site near you, please visit https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

You can also call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222 to obtain more information on safe medication disposal and storage or additional events in your area. 

Spanish version: https://youtu.be/FY1Jd1gyZ00