Next up in the news is a look at a recent study in the journal Pediatrics on how increased prescribing practices for adults has led to an increase in the numbers of pediatric poisonings reported to the nation’s poison centers. More than 70,000 kids each year are taken to hospital ERs with unintentional med overdoses and poisonings. In a 7 year period in the study the number of visits to ERs increased by 30% and hospital admissions went up by 36%.
Four Medication Classes To Blame
The survey looked at four particular classes of medications in the article. These included hypoglycemics or diabetes control medications, beta blockers – a common cardiac medication class, statins or cholesterol lowering drugs, and opioid pain killers like oxycontin. Imagine the effects these medications can have on a young child who inadvertently ingests meds in a grandparents home or in a young teen taking some in a suicide attempt or trying to get high.
Prevention is one of the keys to keeping these poisonings from happening. Consider running a medication safety class in your community for parents and grandparents. Discuss safe medication disposal and how people should clean out old meds from their homes when they are done using them.
Poison Centers Support Prevention Programs
All of these things can be supported by resources from your local poison centers so don’t hesitate to reach out to them for assistance, handouts, and things to give away to folks attending your sessions. If you run one of these in your area, make sure you let me know and maybe I can mention it and the response to the community here on the MedicCast one week. Email me here at Podmedic@mac.com or leave a comment here on the comments link for this article.
Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode – Diphenhydramine EMS Med Review and Episode 338.