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.
- SourceAvailable from: PubMed Central[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a triage method to prevent unnecessary emergency department visits of out-of-hospital poisoned patients. From October 2003 to September 2004, the calls that lay persons gave to the Seoul Emergency Medical Information Center to seek advice on the out-of-hospital poisoned patients were enrolled. We designed a triage protocol that consisted of five factors and applied it to the patients. According to the medical outcomes, we classified the patients into two groups, the toxicity-positive and the toxicity-negative. We arranged the factors on the basis of the priority that was determined in order of the odds ratio of each factor for the toxicity-positive and made a flow chart as a triage method. Then we calculated a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the method. We regarded the specificity as the ability of the method and the sensitivity as the safety. A total of 220 patients were enrolled in this study. The method showed a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of 99.2%, 53.4%, 76.2%, and 97.9%, respectively. Our triage method prevented 53.4% of the unnecessary emergency department visits of out-of-hospital acutely poisoned patients, safely.Journal of Korean Medical Science 05/2007; 22(2):336-41. · 1.25 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
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
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
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. · 2.59 Impact Factor