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Health Resources and Services Administration

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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
HRSA NEWS ROOM
http://newsroom.hrsa.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
CONTACT: HRSA PRESS OFFICE
301-443-3376

HRSA Launches Online Resource to Help Prevent Poisonings

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released a new online tool to raise awareness of ways to prevent poisonings across the United States.

HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., unveiled the Poison Prevention Week Planner (PDF - 23 pages) on March 17 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with National Poison Prevention Week, March 15-21.

The downloadable planner features useful information on how communities can work with local poison centers to implement prevention activities. The planner also gives tips for promoting events with media and through community outreach.

“This practical planner puts valuable poison prevention resources in the hands of people in communities across America,” Dr. Wakefield noted. “This is especially helpful in reaching residents of isolated areas that lack quick access to emergency care.”

Each year, the nation's 61 poison centers field calls on more than 2 million possible poisonings; 93 percent of poisonings occur in the home.

HRSA also has released a new brochure, “Safe Medicine Use & Poison Prevention Tips – A Guide for Older Adults and Caregivers.” Older adults are more likely than others to die from poisonings as a result of therapeutic errors.

During last year's Prevention Week, HRSA unveiled the online Poison Help Campaign (PoisonHelp.hrsa.gov) to inform Americans about the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222), which connects callers to their local poison control centers, where nurses, pharmacists and other poison experts answer the call. The campaign also contained media ads and bilingual radio jingles for use by local media and community groups.

HRSA's Poison Control Program funds the Poison Help number and provides support and enhancement grants to the poison centers. National Poison Prevention Week is sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, of which HRSA is a member.

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The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.