Free drug and information service helped worried mom
Seven years ago, Annabel Brown and her two-year-old son, Jack, made their routine visit to her parents’ house. However, the visit took an unexpected turn when Brown saw something white foaming from Jack’s mouth. She became panicked, and quickly tried to remove the small white object.
Brown identified what was left of the dissolving object—one of her father’s pills. That is when she remembered seeing a number for poison control in a parenting magazine. Brown quickly picked up the phone and dialed the call center.
“The woman who answered the phone was calm, cool and collected,” said Brown. “She helped me identify the medication and dose that Jack consumed, discussed possible symptoms to watch for and even expressed concern about me and my well-being.”
The poison control nurse told Brown that the medicine would pass through Jack’s system. She said that it would be okay for Brown to put Jack down for his nap, as long as she woke him up at certain intervals.
The nurse followed up with Brown that night and the next morning to check on both Jack and his concerned mom. . The nurse reminded Brown that Jack was a curious two-year-old toddler, and they were in an environment she could not control. It was an accident that could have happened to any parent. She assured Brown that she did the right thing by acting quickly, and calling the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 for medical advice. At week’s end, the nurse called Brown to check in one last time. “She went above and beyond; it was more than I expected,” she said.
Today, Brown is calm and collected as she tells the story of how the poison center helped care for her son. “I think it is important for parents to know that this free resource is available to them—anytime, anywhere,” said Brown. “It saves you time. It may save you the cost of an Emergency Room visit. Most importantly, the service makes you feel like the individual on the other end of the line genuinely cares about your concern. It’s personable. As a worried, mother, what more could I ask for?”
The Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center receives nearly 18,000 calls each year related to pediatric (five and under) poison exposures. Treatment for many of those cases was managed at home with the help of poison control nurses, rather than in emergency rooms.