Utah Poison Control Center, American Association of Poison Control Centers to Celebrate Poison Prevention Week

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Mar 12, 2010 10:47 AM

The Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) will join poison centers around the country from March 14 through 20, 2010 to celebrate the 49th annual Poison Prevention Week, a week aimed at reminding everyone that poison dangers exist in every age group and every community.

“Our poison center responds to calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to help those who have been exposed to toxic substances,” said Barbara Insley Crouch, PharmD, MSPH director of the UPCC. “While we recognize that prevention is the best possible remedy, our specialists are ready to respond to any poison emergency."

Each year, over 56,000 calls are received by the UPCC.  More than 60% of the exposures involve children less than six years of age. In 2009, 94% of all poisonings occurred in the home. Fortunately 79% were managed on site with telephone follow-up.  Therefore, it is critical to safeguard the home environment. Governor Gary R. Herbert signed a proclamation declaring March 14-20, 2010 as Poison Prevention Week in Utah.

In all, U.S. poison centers answered more than 4.3 million calls in 2008, including nearly 2.5 million calls about human exposures to poison, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers - up from 4.2 million calls in 2007. On average, U.S. poison centers received one call concerning a suspected or actual human poison exposure every 12.7 seconds.

“Poisoning can occur at anytime and to anyone,” said Jim Hirt, executive director of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. “AAPCC and its member poison centers work 24/7 to help those who have been exposed to a poison or to just answer the public’s questions regarding a potential poisoning. It is an important public service our members take on to teach people about how poisonings occur and ways to help prevent them.”

Beginning in 1961, the third week in March has been designated National Poison Prevention Week and has focused national attention on the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. National Poison Prevention Week, established by the U.S. Congress, is commissioned by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, an organization comprised of public and private partners committed to reducing unintentional poisonings and promoting poison prevention. For more information on National Poison Prevention Week or poison prevention in general, visit www.utahpoisoncontrol.org or call the UPCC at 1-800-222-1222.

About the Utah Poison Control Center

The Utah Poison Control Center was established in 1954. It was one of the first poison centers in the United States. The UPCC is a program of the University of Utah, College of Pharmacy; staffed around-the-clock with pharmacists and nurses with additional training in clinical toxicology.

About the American Association of Poison Control Centers

The American Association of Poison Control Centers is a non-profit, national organization founded in 1958 that represents the poison control centers of the United States and the interests of poison prevention and treatment of poisoning. 

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Media Contacts

Marty Malheiro
Utah Poison Control Center
Phone: (801) 587-0603
Email: marty.malheiro@hsc.utah.edu

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