March 22, 2013

Arkansas Poison Center Celebrates National Poison Prevention Week

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Poison Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy joins poison centers around the country in celebrating National Poison Prevention Week March 17-23.

Since 1962, the President of the United States has proclaimed the third week of March as National Poison Prevention Week to raise awareness about the dangers of poisoning and how to prevent them. This year’s observance focuses on several poison prevention-related themes:

  • Monday, March 18 – Children Act Fast … So Do Poisons
  • Tuesday, March 19 – Poison Centers: Protecting Health While Saving You Time and Money
  • Wednesday, March 20 – Poisonings Span a Lifetime
  • Thursday, March 21 – Home, Safe, Home
  • Friday, March 22 – Spotlight on Prescription Painkillers

“The Arkansas Poison Center and America’s other 56 poison centers are committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of every American through poison prevention and free, confidential,  expert medical services,” said Charlie Stutts, public educator for the Arkansas Poison Center at UAMS. “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.”

The Arkansas Poison Center will celebrate the week with events including television appearances and personal visits to day care centers, schools and lecturing to various groups of the general public.

“Poisoning can occur at any time and to anyone,” Stutts said. “The Arkansas Poison Center works 24-7 to help those who have been exposed to a poison or to answer the public’s questions about a potential poisoning. We also reach out to our communities with information about how poisonings occur and ways to prevent them. Prevention is the best possible medicine.”

In 2011, U.S. poison centers answered more than 3.6 million calls, including about 2.3 million calls about human exposures to poisons, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. About 90 percent of the people who called with poison emergencies were treated at home following the advice of poison center experts, saving millions of dollars in medical expenses.

“If the unthinkable happens, it’s good to know help is just a phone call away,” Stutts said. “Program your cell phone with the Poison Help number and post it near your home phone. 1-800-222-1222.”

National Poison Prevention Week, established by the U.S. Congress, is commissioned by the Poison Prevention Week Council, an organization of public and private partners committed to reducing unintentional poisonings and promoting poison prevention.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 790 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com.

Poison Hotline 1-800-222-1222