Title

current state of poison control centers in Pakistan and the need for capacity building.

Document Type

Article

Department

Emergency Medicine

Abstract

Background: Chemical exposure is a major health problem globally. Poison control centers (PCCs) play a leading role both in developed and developing countries in the prevention and control of poisonous chemical exposures. In this study, we aimed to assess the current state of PCCs in Pakistan and highlight capacity building needs in these centers.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of the two registered PCCs was done during August – December 2011. Necessary services of the PCCs were evaluated and the data were recorded on a predesigned checklist.
Results: Both PCCs are affiliated to a tertiary care hospital. Clinical services to poisoned patients were available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Information on common local products was available to poison center staff. Both centers were involved in undergraduate and post graduate teaching. Telephone poison information service was not available in either of centers. There was a limited capacity for qualitative and analytical toxicology. Common antidotes were available. There were limited surveillance activities to capture toxic risks existing in the community and also a deficiency was observed in chemical disaster planning.
Conclusion: PCCs in Pakistan need capacity building for specialized training in toxicology, toxicovigilance, chemical disaster planning, analytical laboratory tests and telephone service for consultation in poisoning cases.

Publication

Asia Pacific Journal of Medical Toxicology