Long Island Poison & Drug Information Center at Winthrop Stresses Prevention to Avoid Accidental Poisonings

Vol. 12, No. 1
March, 2002

  • Winthrop-University Hospital Comes Out on Top of Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organization's 2001 Survey

  • Winthrop's Todd J. Cohen, MD Implants Hospital's First Patient with New Device to Treat Congestive Heart Failure

  • Winthrop-University Hospital First on L.I. to Perform Cardiac Surgery Without Stitches

  • Winthrop-University Hospital's New PET Imaging Center Opens, Offers Greater Hope to Cancer Patients

  • Winthrop-University Hospital First on Long Island to Use New Fetal Oxygen Sensor During Labor and Delivery

  • Winthrop's New Breast Imaging & Diagnostic Suite - "One Stop Shop" for Women

  • Promising New Treatments on Horizon for Parkinson's Disease

  • Winthrop-University Hospital is First in New York Metro Area to Pioneer New Communication System for Hearing-Impaired Patients

  • Winthrop Pediatricians Turn Literary for Kids

  • "Nursing Home Without Walls" Gives Elderly and Disabled Independence in Their Own Home

  • "Balloon" Technique Helps Mend Spine Fractures, Relieves Pain in Patients with Osteoporosis

  • Long Island Poison & Drug Information Center at Winthrop Stresses Prevention to Avoid Accidental Poisonings

  • Winthrop Awarded $1.1 Million Grant from New York State

  • AT&T Employees Tee Off to Help Children at Winthrop's Cancer Center for Kids

  • Citibank Gives Hope to Children at Winthrop-University Hospital's Cancer Center For Kids in Form of a $10,000 Donation

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  • Each year, poisonings from medicines and household chemicals kill about 92 children and prompt more than 2.2 million calls to U.S. poison control centers.

    The Long Island Regional Poison & Drug Information Center at Winthrop-University Hospital wants to remind parents to keep poisons out of reach of children.

    Parents must always be watchful when household chemicals or drugs are being used. Unintentional poisoning can occur from exposure to items such as prescription and non-prescription medicines, cleaning substances, insecticides, cosmetics, plants, art supplies, and alcohol.

    "Many near-poisonings and deaths can be prevented if adults take simple safety precautions to "poison-proof" their home," said Michael McGuigan, MD, Medical Director for the Long Island Poison & Drug Information Center at Winthrop. "It is important for parents and caregivers to eliminate hidden household poisons by storing dangerous items out of reach of young children and being prepared in the event of a poisoning."

    The three most important safety messages to prevent poisonings are:

    (1) Use child-resistant packaging because it saves lives;
    (2) Keep medicines and household chemicals locked up out of reach and out of sight of young children because some children can open child-resistant packaging; and
    (3) Keep the poison control center number next to your telephone and call immediately if a poisoning occurs.

    In the event that a child does ingest a chemical or poison, a caregiver's first call should always be to the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or 516-542-2323.

    Poison Control's hotline is staffed 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week by registered nurses with additional training in toxicology. The Center is also staffed by a registered pharmacist and managed by Tom Caraccio, PharmD. They offer guidance on handling drug overdoses and poison emergencies, and will contact the local hospital Emergency Department if hospital treatment is necessary.

    The Poison Control Center is a resource center for the general public, physicians and hospital emergency rooms. In addition to managing poison emergencies, its staff offers drug and herbal product information.

    For additional information about poison prevention, call Beata Walerych at 516-663-2592, or visit the Center's website at www.LIRPDIC.org.

    General Poison Prevention Tips

    • Store all household chemical products away from food.
    • Don't re-use empty household containers.
    • Read all labels carefully before using any product.
    • Never give any medication in the dark.
    • Don't refer to medicine as "candy."
    • Instruct your children NOT to take medicine unless given by you or another trustworthy adult.
    • Discard all old and unlabeled medicines.
    • Be sure that all drugs are purchased in child-safety packaging.
    • Instruct your children not to eat wild berries on shrubs or garden and ornamental plants.

    Winthrop Awarded $1.1 Million Grant from New York State

    Winthrop Winnebago Rolls into Town
    Winthrop-University Hospital was awarded $1.1 million from New York State for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Health Worker Training Initiative. The initiative will help train TANF eligible individuals (those who have family incomes at or under 200 percent of the federal poverty level) as Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides at Winthrop.

    With a strong need for Home Health Aides throughout New York State, this program will not only give in- dividuals a head start in a new career but also help alleviate the shortage of professional Home Health workers.

    "This program will give individuals an opportunity to begin a career in healthcare and help families achieve financial independence," said Diane Bachor, Senior Human Resources Grants Specialists who worked closely with Diane Thorp, Director of Patient Services for Winthrop at Home in this achievement.

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