National Poison Prevention Week – March 19-25, 2017
The American Association of Poison Centers (AAPCC) wants to spread the word about their new interactive online poison help triage tool, PoisonHelp.org. They are very excited to be launching this new tool to the public this week, during National Poison Prevention Week – March 19-25, 2017, and beyond.
As you are likely aware, poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. More people die of poisoning every year than even gun or car-related injuries, and many more are seriously injured. These alarming trends are due in large part to the increasing prevalence of opioid and other prescription analgesic use, coupled with emerging pediatric poisoning hazards such as marijuana edibles, liquid nicotine, and single use laundry detergent packets increasingly found in homes, nationwide.
More than ever, Americans need immediate access to a credible source of poisoning information and treatment advice. You are among the first to be made aware that there is now more than one way to access “poison control” – by calling the national Poison Help hotline at 1 (800) 222-1222 or by using PoisonHelp.org. This new (and free) interactive, mobile device-optimized, online poison information tool was created and vetted by the very toxicology experts who oversee the nation’s poison control centers. To add both the phone number and mobile-optimized website for poison control as a contact in your smartphone, text “POISON” to 797979.
Based in large part on concerns about the inconsistent accuracy of poison-related information available on the web, the AAPCC Board initiated the development of PoisonHelp.org, wherein users are prompted to answer a few simple questions about a human exposure to approximately 325,000 available unique products and substances. The site uses AAPCC-approved algorithms to quickly return a recommendation for the user based on his or her input. Input fields include substance, route of exposure, and some basic information about the exposed person. For any complex or potentially dangerous exposure, the user is prompted to call Poison Help at 1 (800) 222-1222, and the number is provided for all search results as a resource for more information. For smart phone users, the Poison Help number can be dialed by touching the number on the screen.
In short, PoisonHelp.org is a novel extension of the life-saving public service that has been offered by poison control centers for decades via telephone. PoisonHelp.org is the only AAPCC-sanctioned and endorsed online poisoning triage tool.