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Emergency doctors raise awareness of drug-related poisonings

March 22, 2011

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Irving, TX – Emergency room visits for drug-related poisonings are on the rise, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians.

In 2007, drug-related poisoning deaths were second only to motor vehicle crashes as a leading cause of injury death, said a study abstract recently published online in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Nearly 700,000 emergency room visits were a result of drug-related poisonings, and nearly 28,000 individuals died of unintentional drug-related poisoning. Children 5 and younger had the highest rate of unintentional poisoning.

To prevent against drug-related poisonings, ACEP and the American Association of Poison Control Centers recommend the following:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children by locking cabinets and properly disposing of unused medications.
  • Do not refer to medicine as candy.
  • Never share or sell prescription drugs.
  • Follow directions on the label, and read all warnings before taking medicine.
  • Put the poison control number near every phone in the home and program it into your cell phone. Poison control centers can be reached at (800) 222-1222, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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