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The Palmetto Poison Center (PPC), located in Columbia, serves all 46 counties in South Carolina and receives over 37,000 calls per year for information and advice. The PPC provides services free-of-charge to the public and health professionals 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year, and was awarded certification as a Regional Poison Center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers in 2006. Only 61 centers nationally have met the requirements for this designation. The PPC is staffed by healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and nurses, who are formally trained in toxicology as specialists in poison information.

Types of Calls

The Palmetto Poison Center provides information on exposure to poisonous materials for the general public and healthcare professionals. Calls range from accidental and intentional ingestion of poisonous substances and medications to adverse drug effects, occupational exposures, envenomations, and biochemical disasters. Over 50% of calls involve exposures in pediatric patients below 6 years of age. A majority of the time we can reassure the caller and provide advice for safe observation at home. When necessary, the poison center can give immediate management advice to a care giver in the home and provide advice and consultation to health care providers charged with the care of a poisoning emergency. Our medical director, a physician with specialty training and board certification in the field of medical toxicology, is available 24 hours-a-day to provide physician to physician advice.

Availability/cost

A recent USC study found that for every dollar spent on the Palmetto Poison Center, more than $7 were saved in unnecessary healthcare costs, including emergency room and physician visits, ambulance services, and unnecessary medical treatments. Additional savings occur when other benefits are included: assisting health professionals in optimally managing poisoned patients, decreasing hospital stays, poison prevention education, real-time data analysis to identify poisoning clusters, and providing the general public free, around-the-clock access to certified poison information specialists. The Palmetto Poison Center is proud to serve the entire state of South Carolina. Call 1-800-222-1222 for information regarding poison prevention and treatment of exposures.

 

 
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