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Tennessee Officials Name ‘Top Five’ Poisons in the State

According to the Tennessee Poison Center the number one cause of death in the state of Tennessee is not car crashes, gunshots, or drownings, but analgesic poisoning (ie. opioid pain relievers). In December, the agency came up with a list of the top five poisons that poison people in the state.   The top five substances for poison exposure in Tennessee are analgesics, cosmetic/personal care products, household cleaning products, sedative/hypnotics/antipsychotics and antihistamines. What is most frightening is that most of these substances are available over the counter.

In 2015, over 33,000 poison cases were reported to the Tennessee Poison Center for pharmaceutical substances, which comprises of 59 percent of the agency’s cases. Experts at the agency recommend that you store poisons safely to avoid poisoning yourself or family members. One should never store poisons in drink bottles, and medicine and household cleaners should be in their original packaging or child and pet resistant packaging. They should also be kept above floor level, away from pets and children.

Warning Signs of Poisoning

Poisoning is a common cause of mortality and illness in the United states. Poisoning from medications can happen for a variety of reasons, including intentional overdose, inadvertently taking an extra dose, dispensing or measuring errors, overmedication, and exposure through breast milk. Overmedication abuse symptoms include sudden personality changes, a glazed over look, high levels of drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, loss of memory, loss of bodily functions or control, or oversleeping.

Overmedication is a Type of Poisoning

One of the most common ways overmedication and/or poisoning can occur is in nursing homes, where elderly patients are unable to measure, dispense or take the medications themselves. It has become more common for medical providers to quickly overmedicate instead of utilizing holistic practices. In a nursing home setting, overmedication often goes unnoticed. Caregivers and doctors can easily convince loved ones that symptoms are part of the aging process, when in reality caregivers sometimes overmedicate their patients to lessen their workloads instead of addressing medical issues such as pains and symptoms.

In nursing homes and health settings, overmedication can be difficult to prove. Generally speaking, liability can pursued for both injuries under a theory of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can be generally defined as the professional negligence by a health care provider in which the treatment provided was substandard, and caused injury or death to a patient.

Contact Our Skilled Nashville Attorneys

When doctors and medical providers make a mistake while prescribing medication or overmedicating a patient, they may be liable for damages associated with wrongful death, medical expenses associated with the injury, pain and suffering damages; loss of income; loss of future financial losses, and disability-related costs. If you or a loved one has been injured due to overmedication, contact the Nashville law firm of Calhoun Law, PLC today. Consultations are free and confidential.

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