When to Contact Poison Control

Little boy with pills“My child found a pill on the floor at Grandma’s house and ate half of it!  What do I do?”
“What are these red berries in my backyard?  Are they poisonous?”
“Help!  My toddler drank some of this cleaning liquid he found in the garage!  What do I do?”
“What do we do?  We had several employees get sprayed in the eyes with some unknown chemical!”

First of all, if someone is unconscious, having trouble breathing, seizing, vomiting, or looks ill, seek emergency care IMMEDIATELY or call 911. For patients that are stable and seem to be ok, there are a few things you can do right away for them.

SWALLOWED POISONS: Do not give anything by mouth until you call the Poison Center. Call 1-800-222-1222.

INHALED POISON: Immediately get the person to fresh air.  Avoid breathing fumes. Call 1-800-222-1222.

POISON ON THE SKIN: Remove contaminated clothing and flood skin with water for 10 minutes. Call 1-800-222-1222.

POISON IN THE EYE: Rinse eyes with lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes. Call 1-800-222-1222.

This is the number for POISON CONTROL!  They are the BEST resource for ANY poison or medicinal information!  What can they do?

  • Drug Identification:  They can help you figure out what pill Junior swallowed and what you should do!
  • Drug Information:  dosing, medication side effects, contraindications, interactions with other medications, safety with breastfeeding or pregnancy, etc.
  • Environmental Information: carbon monoxide, sunburn treatment, poisonous plants, snakebites, scorpion bites, soil contaminants, food poisoning, etc.
  • Occupational Information: chemicals in the workplace, bio-hazard information, safety guidelines, etc.

Basically, they are the POISON EXPERTS!  If the PCC recommends that you take your child to the ER, we will be ready! If you have any concerns at all, our physicians are EMERGENCY EXPERTS! Bring your child or loved one to Quality Care ER in Paris, TX!  We can work with the regional Poison Control Center and take care of your family!

Dr. Keeling is a board-certified emergency physician who received her training at the UT Southwestern Dallas EM program at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.  As part of the training she received, she spent time in our regional Poison Control Center, as it was based at Parkland Hospital! Not only did she observe and participate at the call center, she also worked with and received training from some of the country’s best toxicologists (doctors that specialize in toxicology, poisons, etc.)!