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Health and Safety

Poison Control Centres

The Role of Poison Control Centres

You can find the number of the nearest Poison Control Centre on the first page of your local phonebook or by dialing 911. To provide you with rapid and accurate poison management information, PCC staff will need specific information from patients, caregivers, or healthcare professionals.

Poison Control Centres are staffed 24 hours a day by trained poison information specialists, including pharmacists, nurses, and physicians. They have complete access to numerous resources including POISINDEX, a computerized system containing information and treatment protocols for more than 800,000 products.

PCCs :

  • identify toxic ingredients and plants
  • aid in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of poisonings by giving rapid and accurate assessment of the poison exposure
  • increase public awareness of the importance of avoiding potentially hazardous home remedies
  • provide the location of specific antidotes and other specific treatments
  • increase public awareness of the importance of avoiding potentially hazardous home remedies
  • reduce healthcare costs through home management of minor exposures, thus preventing the need for minor hospital visits
  • release public education campaigns
  • provide phone numbers for other important toxicology resources, such as for chemical spills and addiction services