March 20, 2024

By Taylor Deckert

Published: Mar. 20, 2024 at 11:18 AM CDT|Updated: 21 hours ago

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - It’s National Poison Prevention Week.

The Iowa Poison Control Center (IPCC) says when something unexpected happens regarding a product or pill, you have someone to call.

This department serves the entire state of Iowa based in Sioux City, Iowa managing all kinds of different exposures and poisonings in the home and hospitals.

Calling poison control is another option if you are having an emergency, similar to 911.

If you are having a true medical emergency like a heart attack or stroke, 911 should be called.

For 9 out of 10 kids who need assistance, the experts can safely manage the situation on the phone without having to get the kids seen in person.

They want to spread a message that poisonings can happen to anyone.

”The phone call to us is free. We are able to answer questions you might have regarding different kinds of exposures. If we need to we are able to work with local hospitals and triage patients there if we need to, but we do perform a lot of those callbacks at home,” said Clinical Director, Grant Houselog of IPCC.

When hospitals call in from the ER for additional assistance, poison control sees more overdoses or therapeutic errors with more severe cases.

Kids get into a variety of things at home, so the call center makes it so you have assistance in your home without calling additional providers.

They have this call center available 24-7, 7 Days a week.

The call team is made up of nurses, and pharmacists and is overseen by physicians who are trained in medical toxicology.

A lot of their cases involve kids under the age of 5.

”Anything can be a poison. It’s really the dose that makes something a poison. We have to be able to identify how much was taken, maybe the strength of what was taken, and even between every patient there are lots of differences. We assess each patient one by one and able to provide recommendations appropriate for that patient,”

IPCC works closely with Emergency Management Services if they deem the caller needs in-person medical attention, managing about 23,000 cases a year.

They are always doing callbacks, with follow-ups until the medical management has been taken care of.

There were 52,000 follow-ups on the caseloads from last year.

By calling Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222, residents receive fast, free, and life-saving advice 24/7.

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