Always Learning

Annie Asplen, Paramedic, MS
Medical Writer, Regulatory Assistant, Senior Information Specialist

Syrup of ipecac, the drug that causes quick and forceful vomiting, was once considered to be an important treatment for ingested poisons. However, as researchers learned more about toxicology, it was eventually discovered that activated charcoal was a better way to prevent the absorption of poisons, and that ipecac could cause more harm than good in certain cases. As this new information came to light, ipecac gave way to activated charcoal as a best medical practice.

As with any other aspect of medical science, practices in toxicology are always changing as research is done and new information is learned. At SafetyCall, this is no different. Our toxicologists are constantly working to improve our own guidelines, as well as the general knowledge base of toxicology.

For example, several years ago, there was a problem with a certain type of laundry detergent causing life-threatening issues among curious children who would taste it. As soon as we learned of this, staff were trained in an emergency guideline for handling such cases. At the same time, we began a research project to determine the best ways to prevent children from accessing the product in the first place. As a result, our service became even better, and the product became safer.

At SafetyCall, we operate on decades of research and combined experience, but we never forget that there’s more out there to discover. We’re proud and happy not only to meet each new discovery, but to sometimes also be a part of its coming about.


Annie has been with SafetyCall for 11 years. She loves her job and says she has never felt more appreciated by an employer. She is a licensed paramedic and also has her Master’s degree in professional and technical communication. In her free time, she loves hanging out with her 20 month old son, Wade. 

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