At Your Fingertips: Oregon Poison Center

Many parents are familiar with the 24/7 services of the Oregon Poison Center – I know that my introduction was in response to learning that my mischievous three-year old had decided to eat all of her fluoride tablets.

What you should also know, is that at least 2,000 of the more than 70,000 calls the Center receives each year are from workplaces. If you haven’t already added the Oregon Poison Center to your list of workplace emergency contacts – do it now.

The Oregon Poison Center can receive calls both from workplace healthcare providers and directly from employees. Calling the universal number: 1-800-222-1222 triggers connection with the center targeted to your geographic area, which for callers from Oregon, Alaska and Guam is the Oregon Poison Center located here at OHSU. It’s particularly helpful, of course, to have a Material Safety Data Sheet/Safety Data Sheet or information from a label or container – but don’t delay calling if you don’t have this information readily on-hand, and make sure you use your voice, not text, when you call.

The poison center was established by an act of the Oregon State Legislature in 1978 to provide emergency treatment information for patients experiencing a poisoning or toxic exposure. This center is staffed by registered nurses with specialized training in poison and toxic substances, and a medical physician is always on-call. Approximately 20 different nurses, including those on-call, cover the 24-hour periods, and the on-call physicians are all board certified in toxicology.

Visit the Oregon Poison Center website.

Resources:
CROET’s Toxicology Information Center
CROETweb Topic: Emergency Preparedness in the Workplace

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About the Author

Dede supports the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center's research, engagement and education programs. She is a certified industrial hygienist.

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