March 15th through the 21st is the 53rd Annual National Poison Prevention Week. Joan McVoy is a registered nurse with the Nebraska Regional Poison Center and says this week is to raise awareness about the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them
Statistics from the U-S Department of Health and Human Services show poisonings cause 35,000 deaths each year and drug related poisonings result in nearly 700,000 emergency room trips each year.
McVoy says, “Call the Poison Center before running to the emergency room and about 85% of the time we are going to keep people at home. So, it is a big cost savings by calling the Poison Center. It is answered by professionals, registered nurses, pharmacists and physicians that can help you out with any problem that you have so before run to an emergency room call the Poison Center first.”
McVoy says the Poison Center is open 24/7/365 and all the calls are managed by health professionals that include registered nurses, pharmacists and physicians. All have special training in poison management. She reminds Nebraskans to program their number into your cell phone and post it in homes, schools and businesses.
That number is 1-800-222-1222.