Published on March 11, 2014

Poisoned? Get help fast!

PELLA, Iowa –Do you know what to do if you or a member of your family has come in contact with poison? March 16-22 is National Poison Prevention Week. The week is an opportunity to highlight the dangers of poisonings for people of all ages and help people become aware of what to do in case of poisoning.

“If you suspect poisoning, you should call the poison experts at the national hotline, 1-800-222-1222,” said Carla Chow, director of the emergency department at Pella Regional Health Center. “Don’t wait for symptoms, call immediately.”

On the other end of this hotline are experts who will ask questions to determine if you need to see a doctor or not. If you do need immediate medical care, the poison experts continue to follow you through the medical system.

“If the hotline advises you to come to the emergency department, then staff at our Emergency Department will also receive a phone call telling us that you are coming,” said Chow. “These poison experts work with us, talking with our physicians about the suspected poison and potential medical treatments. It’s very important that if you do need to visit, that you bring the product container with you.”

For more information on poison prevention, visit

Poison Trivia

What is considered to be the most toxic natural substance known to man? It was also recently approved for use in smoothing wrinkles on the face?

Answer: Botox (Botulinus toxin LD50 is 500 nanograms)

What common spice substance is usually forbidden in prisons, as it can be used as a weapon when thrown in the eyes?

Answer: Black pepper

You spill a large amount of Whink Rust Remover on your clothes and it seeps through them. You continue working through the day since it never caused you discomfort. Six hours later you have intense burning sensation in the affected areas. In addition to the delayed burns you are having, what other medical problem can occur from this exposure?

Answer: Cardiac problems from hypocalcemia

You are doing spring cleaning and want to get the house very clean. You mix bleach with an acid based cleaner to help you do this. As soon as you combine them, a gas is released that causes you to cough and have trouble breathing. What is the name of this chemical warfare agent you’ve just created?

Answer: Chlorine gas.

What is probably the most widely used of all mind-altering drugs.  It is commonly ingested in food, beverages, or proprietary medications such as No-Doz?
Answer:  Caffeine