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More health care facilities calling poison control :

March 18, 2019

Every 12 seconds, the nation’s 55 poison control centers field calls about potential exposures. Nearly a quarter of the 2.1 million calls in 2017 came from health care facilities, according to the latest report from the National Poison Data System.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) maintains the National Poison Data System repository for the nation’s poison control centers. The system offers near real-time surveillance of data and information on more than 66 million poison exposures mapped to a database of 435,000 products. 

Calls with serious medical outcomes rose by 4.4% each year since 2000. 

Youths ages 13-19 were the largest pediatric group to be treated in health care facilities, according to the report. Adolescent fatalities rose 9.5% over the prior year, and many were coded as “intentional.” Suspected suicide or abuse were the top reasons. Substances the adolescents used most were analgesics, stimulants and street drugs, and antidepressants. 

Most other calls came from a home or residence and were managed outside a health care facility. Children younger than 6 made up the largest group of poison cases, the majority being unintentional exposures to cosmetics/personal care products, household cleaning substances and analgesics. 

Poison Prevention Week  (March 17-23) reminder: Pediatricians can advise families to call 911 for emergencies. For nonemergency guidance, call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 or visit https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. 

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