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(Don't) Pick Your Poison! Philadelphia’s Poison Control Center

November 19, 2020

In 2018, nearly 90,000 area residents called the Poison Control Center (PCC) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with concerns about poisonings, and more than 50,000 of them had actually been exposed to toxic substances. 

Penn's Village learned more about the development of the PCC and the role it plays in helping Philadelphia health care providers save many lives.  Dr. Fred Henretig, who helped to found the Center and served as its Medical Director for 20 years, also took questions, reviewed the specific risks associated with older adults, and gave tips on keeping their most-prized visitors, grandchildren, safe at home.

Fred Henretig is a retired pediatrician and member of Penn's Village along with his wife, Marnie. He has more than 44 years of experience in academic pediatric emergency medicine and medical toxicology.  In 2011, he received the Michael Shannon Humanitarian Award from the Section of Emergency Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which “recognizes a pediatric emergency medicine physician who has demonstrated excellence in clinical care, mentoring, didactic and bedside teaching, voluntary service and scholarly activities.”  Fred remains on staff at the PCC as its senior toxicologist, and is a Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Penn Med.