Story by: Joe Hall on March 21, 2016
Ever accidentally brushed your teeth with pain relief cream? If so, you’re not alone.
You might think it’s mostly kids who are victims of accidental poisonings, but adults actually account for nearly half of the 60,000 calls to the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center each year.
Ashley Webb, director of the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center and a board-certified clinical toxicologist, said many of those calls are from Kentuckians age 65 and older. Of those calls, 85 percent are for medication mistakes.
“The most common thing we see is somebody taking someone else’s or a pet’s medication by mistake,” Webb said. “We also see errors with taking medication at the wrong time of day, or mixing medications together and then taking the wrong thing.”
To raise awareness as part of National Poison Prevention Week, March 20 to 26, here are the top causes of poisoning in adults based on calls to the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center:
While many people say they feel embarrassed about calling the poison control center, Webb said they’ve heard it all.
“Believe it or not we’ve heard almost everything, and we’re here to provide recommendations based on your individual experience and help you decide whether or not things are OK or if you need to seek additional health care,” Webb said.
If you suspect you or a loved one has been exposed to a poison, call the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 for advice, assessment and recommendations. All calls are confidential and most cases can be managed at home, saving you the cost of going to an emergency room or urgent care center.
If the person is unconscious, not breathing or having a seizure, always call 911.
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