Karen McPhail, RN, MSN
Using Poison Control!
The other day I had a client call regarding her son ingesting a raw lima bean from the garden. Many people do not realize that Lima beans and many other uncooked common items are toxic! I immediately asked for his current weight, the amount ingested, and approximate time of ingestion, then I contacted the poison control center to validate advise for the client. Luckily the child was 165 lbs and had only eaten 2 beans; ten would have sent him to the hospital for additional interventions. They were advised to push fluids which was safe for his current medical condition and to call back if any nausea or vomiting occurred. Poison control is a valuable resource and provides easy access to care advise.
When in doubt use poison control! Many people simply do not realize that most poisonings can be treated and resolved at home by accessing poison control! Many people waste time, and costly healthcare dollars by going to the ER! Always make the call if in doubt as it is free and gives you immediate access to expert advice. The staff will even do a check in call the next day to ensure that further advise is not required.
There are 55 poison control centers in the United States. Each provides free, 24-hour professional advice to anyone in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Federated States of Micronesia, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. On occasion, some have even helped American soldiers serving overseas.
Poison centers provide poison expertise and treatment advice by phone. All poison centers can be reached by calling the same telephone number, 1-800-222-1222. Poison centers are staffed by pharmacists, physicians, nurses and poison information providers who are toxicology specialists, so you can trust the information provided!