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MN Poison Jill at the Computer Photo

The Poison Center responds to calls, 24/7, from the public and clinicians, provides on-site and outreach training to medical professionals and community members, conducts ongoing surveillance and participates in responses to emerging public health threats.

Read stories below about how the Poison Center has made a difference to Minnesotans all across our state – parents, health care professionals, schools, and community groups.

If you would like to share your own story, send an email to poisonhelp@hcmed.org with your name and city of residence. Please let us know if it’s okay to include your testimonial on our website and feel free to attach your photo (optional)!

Your Stories

Bucko T (Roosevelt, MN)

MN Poison Bucko and Ayla Outside Photo

The Poison Center helped me and my wife, Haley, when our two-year old baby girl, Ayla, swallowed some mineral spirits. The Poison Center specialist, Kirk, told us what to do and kept us calm as we were scrambling, trying to keep our daughter awake and breathing. Poison Center staff helped throughout the entire process, providing critical assistance to EMS dispatch, paramedics, emergency physician, and nursing staff. They also called us multiple times over the next several days to see how our little Ayla was doing!

We are deeply thankful that Ayla did well and recovered fully. As a pharmacist myself, and now having had a personal and extremely scary experience with my own child, I feel that there should be no question and no debate on whether there should be full funding to such an incredible service as the Poison Center.

Our story is one of many stories out there and I am sure there are countless lives that the Poison Center has saved or at least had a critical role in saving. We are forever thankful to all of the employees at the Poison Center who helped save our daughter’s life.

Marilyn (Crow Wing County, MN)

A pharmacist by the name of Kirk helped me in an efficient and caring incident today. I took my medication incorrectly. Kirk helped me to understand what was happening to my body. I was given advice as to my evening prescription and to call him if I worsened. I followed Kirk’s advice to rest and remain aware of how I was reacting to the accidental incorrect use of the medication. Kirk called me back 2 times to check on my condition. I am feeling fine. I’m thankful for the advice given to me by Kirk. I’m thankful that I didn’t have to use the emergency room. I am most thankful for the MN Poison Control System. I am proud to be a Minnesota citizen.

Brett W (Winona, MN)

We call you routinely from our Emergency Department and find it very helpful. Your help with some of our more unique ingestions is timely and greatly appreciated. I also recognize that you manage many patients in the home that would otherwise become patients in our ED. The service that you provide is a cost effective tool that we should learn from and expand to other areas, not limit. That would be penny wise/pound foolish, in my humble opinion.

JoAn L (Roseville, MN)

MN Poison Take Action JoAn Laes Small Photo

I am an addiction medicine physician and consulting medical toxicologist at Hennepin County Medical Center. The Poison Center is an extremely important tool to identify trends in new and dangerous drugs and who in our communities is at risk of experiencing consequences related to use of these drugs. The Poison Center was on the front line in identifying the manufacture, distribution, and use of synthetic drugs in Minnesota, such as ‘bath salts’ and ‘synthetic marijuana’ and was integral to educating both the public and the medical community about the dangers of synthetic drug use and medical management of patients misusing those substances. The Poison Center's tireless work not only allows me to treat my patients with the expertise and quality of care that they expect from their medical provider, but also makes the communities in Minnesota safer for our families, children, and friends.

Emma C (Eden Prairie, MN)

(Practices in Arlington and Gaylord, MN)

I vividly recall two calls to the Poison Center in a one-week period for my own kids (classic situation of an older sibling feeding something to the younger sibling). Poison Center staff were very helpful for the immediate situation AND they called me back and asked how things were going! I can't tell you how helpful that was, just when I was thinking that I might not be cut out for being anyone's Mom. I have also contacted the Poison Center many times from the ER and the clinic, to get succinct, helpful, evidence-based advice on management of ingestions, usually overdoses.

The Poison Center is such a valuable resource. As a parent, I felt confident with the advice and could manage the situation at home without needing a clinic or hospital visit. As a clinician, I felt the same confidence about caring for patients with multiple needs, addressing the effects of the overdose as well as the underlying mental health issues that drove the ingestion.

Wayne B (Crystal, MN)

In my former position as HCMC Director of Safety and Security, I called the Poison Center at least six times during emergencies involving hazardous material spills/releases within HCMC. Security staff have historically been first responders to such emergencies and Poison Center could provide us with immediate information even when staff who used the chemicals could not. They assisted in the creation of a Mercury Spill Clean-up Protocol and also provide the general HazMat response training for security staff.

I have also called the Poison Center personally, once for a family member with a possible overdose (medication taken multiple times/day instead of the prescribed once/day). Also, a frantic mother once contacted me for help when her daughter ingested mercury from a broken thermometer. I contacted Poison Center and relayed the info. I have also contacted the Poison Center for educational materials for my daughter's school project.

The Poison Center, in addition to providing immediate guidance to families and clinical staff, is also an Emergency Preparedness resource for small and community sized HazMat releases.

MN Poison Take Action Testimonial Carl Dean Photo

Carl D (St. Louis Park, MN)

I am a nephrologist, a kidney specialist, and I consult the Poison Center routinely on cases of poisoning, overdoses and ingestions. I have found their assistance invaluable, professional and timely.
 

Kim K (Shorewood, MN)

MN Poison Take Action Testimonial Kim Koehnen Photo

When my daughter was a toddler, a small piece of magnet was missing from her toy. Fearing that she had swallowed it, I phoned her doctor's clinic. The clinic recommended contacting the Poison Center for advice. The advice and follow-up phone call were very valuable and relieved my anxiety. A trip to the clinic was not necessary, thereby saving money that health insurance would have had to cover for no reason. It's great to know the Poison Center staff are here for us 24/7!

Sharon D, RN BSN, Outreach Educator (St. Cloud, MN)

St. Cloud Hospital provides Poison Help materials to all parents with newborns born in our Family Birthing Center and to parents of children treated in the Children's Center, which is about 3,000 - 4,000 families each year. We also provide these materials at various booths for health fairs in our community. It is a service that helps keep children safe and avoids emergency room visits and deaths from accidental poisoning.

Gina D (St. Paul, MN)

MN Poison Take Action Testimonial Gina Danielson Photo

I am currently a pharmacist in the metro area. As a pharmacy student, I worked at the Poison Center as an intern and gained valuable interview skills and drug expertise that I am able to take with me to each new hospital that I encounter. The staff at the Poison Center are exceptional role models within the profession of pharmacy and provide a critical service for at-risk patients. They are relied upon for their prompt clinical decision making at my hospital. We need to support the Poison cCenters across the country so they can continue to perform their high-level work.

John B (Richfield, MN)

I am a firefighter-paramedic. I call the Poison Center regularly for guidance in my work, for all overdose and chemical ingestion calls. In fact, I just called during my last shift for a significant overdose for which I needed to gain side effect perspective. I passed along the advice/information the Poison Center gave me to the Emergency Department physician. He thanked me for involving Poison and said he wished more EMS crews utilized the resource on a regular basis. He then followed up with the Poison Center regarding the same patient. I assume this collaborative interaction led to a more expedient and efficient delivery of critical patient care that may have not existed without this resource!

Jesse S (Blaine, MN)

As a pharmacy student, I was able to spend 5 weeks at the Poison Center. It was an enlightening experience to see what a difference the people working there make. I still share stories about some of things I learned and saw while I was shadowing there. Today, as a hospital pharmacist, I often hear about a doctor or pharmacist calling the Poison Center to look for advice on a patient. They truly are a valuable resource to the healthcare system.

Jill R (Le Sueur, MN)

In my work as a pharmacist, I have used the Poison Center several times to assist patients on dosing issues and pill identification. Personally, I feel comforted knowing that there is someplace to call if my child ingests something dangerous.

Gabe G (Rochester, MN)

MN Poison Take Action Testimonial Gabe Golfus Photo

I rotated through the Poison Center during my residency training and found out first-hand how valuable the services they provide are for the state of Minnesota. Information provided to the public averts panic and wasteful visits to Emergency Departments, and provides valuable advice on dangerous intoxications. They also provide valuable longitudinal follow-up for patients across their health care system stays, from pre-hospital, to ED, to ICU, to floor, where there may not be any other consistent follow-up. The Poison Center also helps with training health care professionals of multiple disciplines.

Kristi M (Minneapolis, MN)

My husband and I are in the adoption process currently. We are preparing our home to be a safe place for children as we prepare to become parents. Part of our tools to keep our home safe is to have 24/7 access to MN Poison Control Center so that if an incident does occur we will have the life saving help we will need. Please pass legislation to fund the MN Poison Control Center!

MN Poison Take Action Steve Anderson Testimonial Photo

Steve A (Ham Lake, MN)

When my daughter was two she ingested a mushroom that was growing in our front yard on a Saturday morning. I immediately called the Poison Center and with their expert help and telephone follow-up she was able to get the care she needed at home, no hospital needed. Thank you Poison Center!

Nancy M (Spring Lake Park, MN)

MN Poison Take Action Nancy Mitchell Testimonial Photo

I am a senior citizen that takes multiple prescription medications. The Poison Center helped me when I experienced medication side effects and my doctor wasn't available. It is reassuring to know that the Poison Center is available any time of the day or night.

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