“Every 24 minutes someone dies of an accidental poisoning,” said Tama Sawyer, The University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center director.
The No. 1 cause of accidental death is drug-overdose for people living in the United States. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most common drugs found in accidental deaths. Tama explains that overdoses can occur when teens and adults use drugs recreationally and when smaller children get into mischief.
Accidental drug and other poisonings among small children happen quickly. Daling McMoran, educational coordinator of The University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center, Kansas City, Kan., travels 12,000 miles each year to more than 125 Kansas cities training on the dangers found hidden in purses and diaper bags.
The University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center is open 24/7 and answered 30,000 calls last year and returned 90,000 calls to follow-up on patient care.
One of those calls came from Maggie Crowder of Bonner Springs, Kan. Maggie used a strong cleaner without wearing gloves and soon felt very sick. Without transportation, a trip to the emergency department would have meant calling an ambulance. Maggie called the Poison Control Center instead.
“They were so great with me, so patient and made me feel comfortable,” she said. “I didn’t need emergency care, but it was reassuring to talk with someone who had answers for questions. I would call them again in a heartbeat.”
Calls to the Poison Control Center are confidential and toll free at 1-800-222-1222.
To see a video about Poison Control Week, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-mYn3Xj-98.
- Story from University of Kansas Hospital.