Drug identification: a survey of poison control centers.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to determine current practices and opinions of poison center staff and directors regarding drug identification (ID) calls.
Surveys were developed and mailed to 911 poison center staff members and 69 managing directors at 69 poison control centers in the United States in December 2001.
Responses were received from 317 staff members and 33 directors from 49 centers. Nearly half of the staff respondents stated that they had not received drug ID training beyond how to look up the identity of an oral medication. About one-half of staff and director respondents stated that their centers had only informal (unwritten) drug ID policies, while one-fourth each responded they had formal written policies or had no policy at all. A majority of respondents indicated that their centers either allow or require specialists to provide ID for non-ingestion-related cases. Nearly all staff and director respondents routinely provide ID services to law enforcement officers and health care professionals regardless of whether ingestion was involved. Slightly more than one-half of staff respondents inquire about possible ingestion with almost every request, while one-third only inquire when the caller gives some indication that ingestion may have occurred. Case-based questions reveal that different practices are utilized depending on the type of medication for which ID is being requested. Factors such as risk of liability, patient confidentiality, guardianship, and the person's best interest appear to contribute to decisions regarding the provision of medication ID.
Drug identification practices vary from center to center throughout the United States. Though the service is greatly utilized, few centers have written policies. In addition, training for the provision of this service appears to be inadequate in many centers. The development of drug identification guidelines to be utilized throughout poison centers would provide much needed consistency and guidance.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction Texas poison centers identified carisoprodol as a skeletal muscle relaxant that is subject to abuse, and this investigation explores the abuse reported by Texas poison centers. Methods This study used data from six Texas poison centers to describe the epidemiology of carisoprodol abuse and drug identification (ID) calls from 1998 to 2003. Results Drug ID and abuse calls were 217% higher in 2003 than in 1998. Although eastern and central Texas contains 43% of the state’s population, this region reported 77% of all drug ID calls and 64% of abuse calls. Male patients accounted for 51% of abuse calls and 37% of other human exposure calls. Patients from 13 to 19 years of age accounted for 17% of abuse calls and 9% of other human exposure calls. Among those human exposure calls with a known medical outcome, a higher percentage of abuse calls involved minor effects while a greater proportion of other human exposure calls involved outcomes that ranged from moderate effects to death. Conclusions Carisoprodol abuse is increasing in Texas and is substantially more common in the eastern part of the state. Carisoprodol abuse is much more likely, than other types of adverse carisoprodol exposures, to involve males and adolescents; and it less likely to involve adverse medical outcomes.Journal of medical toxicology: official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology 03/2006; 2(1):8-13.
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ABSTRACT: Interactive voice response systems (IVR) have traditionally been used by banking and credit card industries to rapidly process information requests for their customers. Today IVR technology is being used in clinical medicine to randomize patients in clinical studies, to collect patient data, and to follow-up on recently discharged patients. Use of IVR systems by poison centers is relatively new. This commentary explores the advantages and disadvantages of applying IVR technology to the medication identification requests in poison centers.Clinical Toxicology 11/2011; 49(9):799-800. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Poison centers answer telephone calls from persons requesting identification of tablets. Many of these calls are from people for whom the tablets were not prescribed and potentially represent nonmedical use. Implementation of a telephone-based program of overdose prevention and screening for nonmedical use of prescription medications is examined. Social workers with experience in substance abuse disorders were hired by a poison center to answer telephone calls from persons asking for tablet identification. The social workers asked questions regarding demographics, provided the ingredients, provided overdose prevention/safety information, and offered referral to treatment to callers who desired it. A total of 17,616 tablet identification calls from the public were answered by the social workers during the 20-month study period. Most callers were Caucasian with median age 33 years (range 18-93 years). Overdose prevention/safety information, aimed mostly at reducing polydrug use, was delivered to 6,635 (37.7%) callers. Treatment resource information was provided to 3,775 (21.4%) callers. A telephone-based service made up of social workers interacted with several thousand individuals potentially at risk for adverse outcomes from nonmedical use of prescription medications and delivered overdose/safety information. Although further study is needed, this type of service can complement existing state/community efforts aimed at education regarding the nonmedical use of prescription medications. (Am J Addict 2013;22:108-112).American Journal on Addictions 03/2013; 22(2):108-12. · 1.74 Impact Factor