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About Sickkids
About SickKids

March 14, 2013

Dr. Yaron Finkelstein recognized for Outstanding Contribution in Medical Toxicology Research

By Elissa Hanna

Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, staff physician in the Divisions of Emergency Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology and Associate Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences at SickKids, has been honoured with the 2013 American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) Service Award for Outstanding Contribution in Medical Toxicology Research.

This award recognizes Finkelstein’s study of poisoning patterns in children under two years old using the ACMT’s Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) Case Registry. The Registry, established in 2010, compiles cases of paediatric poisoning from 47 participating sites across the United States and Canada. Finkelstein examined 31 of these sites over a 15-month period to determine which substances were most commonly identified as sources of poisoning.

“I am pleased that Dr. Finkelstein is gaining recognition for his work in paediatric toxicology,” says Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research at SickKids. “This research is especially significant because it draws attention to tools we can use to protect children who cannot protect themselves.”

According to the research project, cardiac drugs, psychotropic agents and street drugs and alcohol were among the top accidental or incidental exposures in that age group. Finkelstein’s findings highlight the importance of tracking cases of poisoning in toddlers, a highly vulnerable patient population.

“Alarmingly, we found that one in eight infants had been exposed to alcohol or illicit drugs,” says Finkelstein. “Toxico-surveillance tools such as the ToxIC Case Registry can be instrumental to medical professionals for monitoring cases of unsafe environments and child neglect. I am thrilled that the ACMT is recognizing this research.”

The SickKids Emergency Department was selected as the first non-American site to be involved in the program. Finkelstein is the principal investigator of the SickKids ToxIC site and also serves on the ACMT Research Committee.