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The Role of Poison Centres in Basic and Clinical Toxicology

Issues Relevant to Toxicology

  1. Alan H. Hall MD, FAACT1,3,
  2. Chantal Bismuth MD2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat127

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Hall, A. H. and Bismuth, C. 2009. The Role of Poison Centres in Basic and Clinical Toxicology. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Toxicology Consulting and Translating Services, Inc., Medical Toxicologist, Laramie

  2. 2

    Universitéde Paris VII, Medical Toxicologist, Hôpital Fernand-Widal, Paris, France

  3. 3

    Colorado School of Public Health, Clinical Assistant Professor, Denver, Co, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Poison Centres have a variety of roles in both basic and clinical toxicology, regardless of the general model followed—telephone consultation either with healthcare professionals only, or with both healthcare professionals and the general public. First and foremost, Poison Centres provide telephone consultations on acute poisoning exposures to include product and/or ingredient identification and information, expected clinical signs and symptoms, probability of developing toxicity and potential severity, recommendations for decontamination when appropriate, and treatment recommendations. Telephone follow-up of cases is an important activity. In addition, many Poison Centres are involved in a variety of other activities, such as education of healthcare professionals and the public, poison prevention and Poison Centre awareness activities, basic and clinical toxicology research, systematic poison exposure/poisoning data collection, and dealing with chronic toxicity, exotoxicity and animal poison exposures/poisonings.


  • Poison Centres;
  • Poisons Units;
  • Poison Control Centres;
  • poison information services;
  • poison prevention;
  • poison education;
  • toxicology centres;
  • toxicology;
  • Academic Clinical Toxicology Centres