Allegheny County doctor has urgent message for parents after state sees increase in child overdose deaths – CBS Pittsburgh



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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A local doctor has an urgent message for parents after Pennsylvania saw an increase in child deaths and near-deaths from drug ingestion.

“It’s very sad. Examining the deaths is emotionally draining,” said Dr Mary Carrasco, director of A Child’s Place and chair of the County Mortality / Infant Mortality Review Team. from Allegheny.

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She talks about looking at deaths when children get their hands on illegal drugs or prescription drugs.

“Whatever medications you have in your house, they should either be in a safe, or always safe from young children, because children are curious and they will fit into anything,” he said. said Dr Carrasco.

Over the weekend, a 10-month-old baby died at UPMC children’s hospital. Police said she ingested a bag of heroin at her Ambridge home last month. Her mother faces charges.

In Pennsylvania, the number of children who have died or been seriously injured as a result of ingesting illegal drugs or prescription drugs has increased dramatically over the past year. According to the Department of Social Services’ annual report on child abuse, there were 11 deaths in 2020 and three in 2019; the number of near-mortalities was 45 in 2020 and 21 in 2019.

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Dr Carrasco shared the numbers for Allegheny County. She said that in 2020 there were three child deaths and four near-deaths from drug ingestion. She said that in 2021, until September, there were two child deaths and three near-deaths from drug ingestion. The numbers could increase as there are cases that have yet to be reviewed.

“I think our numbers are going to be higher by the end of the year. I think our numbers are going to be higher than 2020. And certainly, they are already higher than 2019, ”said Dr Carrasco.

She begs the parents to keep the drugs in a safe and secure place. She also calls on behavioral health providers and community members to speak up to avoid further heartbreaking incidents.

“Everyone around you who knows someone who is taking methadone or illegal substances… just remind them that their kids could come in and die and how do you live with that? Says Dr Carrasco.

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Alice Bell, overdose prevention project coordinator at Prevention Point Pittsburgh, said if you have drugs in your home, especially opioids, you should have naloxone at home as it could end up saving your life. ‘a child.

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