The Washington Poison Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is one of the larger poison centers in the United States. We receive over 63,000 calls annually, and of those, almost 89% are about people being exposed to dangerous or potentially dangerous substances, such as household products, spoiled food and beverages, chemicals in the workplace and home, environmental toxins, drugs and medicine, and animal and insect bites and stings. The remainder of calls are for information, before an exposure occurs.
We are always here to help, 24/7/365, by calling: 1 (800) 222-1222. We provide immediate, free and expert treatment advice and assistance. All calls are confidential. Our emergency telephone helpline services are answered by specialists in poison information – nurses and pharmacists – with expert-level training in poisonings, drug overdoses and toxic exposures.
Calls to Poison Centers save over 18 million dollars in avoided medical costs by reducing unnecessary hospital visits because our staff are experienced in performing telephone based triage to determine a patient’s need to seek medical attention related to a poisoning.
Medical Professionals – How We Can Help You?
- Assistance with determining whether a response is warranted
- Assistance with determining whether ALS or BLS is required
- Assistance with providing pre-arrival instructions to patients
- Provision of treatment recommendations to the responding agency
- Follow-up calls with the patient or caller as needed
- Identifying medications (pill identification) for EMS and law enforcement
Let us know when you are transferring a call, alerting us to your presence on the line at the outset of the call allows us to handle your call with the highest priority. We can tailor the information to your needs in terms of whether a response is needed, and if so whether to send ALS or BLS in some instances. The basic information our staff need is:
- The agency calling
- Whether you’re responding a unit already or waiting for us to help with that decision
- The phone number and zip code of your agency
EMTs / Paramedics
- Give a brief history if you are on scene, or the scenario you’ve been given if you are en route to the call.
- Let us know what you’re looking for—treatment recommendations? Help deciding whether ALS is needed? Or, whether transport is even necessary!
- Often times, patient age, weight, basic health status, and any symptoms that may be present are necessary for us to help determine an appropriate course of therapy.
- Allow us to follow up with you after the call, or contact us at your convenience with any pertinent information regarding the transport, symptoms experienced by patient, and / or treatment rendered by you. This feedback allows us to monitor the effectiveness of our guidelines and to make adjustments if necessary.