Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Medical Professionals

Here’s a list of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Medical Professionals:

Q: What are your sources for information?
A: In addition to our electronic databases of over a million medications, substances, and chemicals, the Washington Poison Center maintains a collection of texts with topics including marine toxins, food additives, and workplace safety/standards.

Q: Who answers my calls?
A: The Washington Poison Center is staffed by registered pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and other health care professionals, all of whom are supported around the clock by physician toxicologists.

Q: Where are you located? What region do you cover?
A: The Washington Poison Center is located in north Seattle, in the Northgate neighborhood. Our call center currently serves all of Washington state.

Q: How many calls per day do you handle?
A: On average, 250 inbound calls are handled per day by call center staff,  of those around 200 are new exposures or requests for information.

Q: Am I allowed to divulge patient information to WAPC staff?
A: Information shared with a Poison Center, in our consultative role, is allowed per HIPAA guidelines. A copy of  Poison Center Services and HIPAA is available if requested.

Q: How is the information you gather used?
A: Information gathered by the Washington Poison Center is used in several different ways. Case information, without patient identifiers, is consolidated from all poison centers and screened by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on a real-time basis as one of many tools to catch outbreaks based on symptoms or exposures. The American Associate of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) gathers data that can be utilized to help determine trends and develop future evidence-based guidelines.

Q: Can I visit the Washington Poison Center?
A: Yes, we encourage you to! Contact us for information on tours.


If you have any questions, please contact the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.