The main role of the Swedish Poisons Information Centre is to advise national healthcare and general public on the diagnosis and treatment of poisoned patients in case of acute poisoning with medical products, chemicals or biological toxins.
The Poisons Centre provided information by telephone 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Health care professionals and emergency services have access to their own priority telephone lines. In 2017, telephone inquiries answered 94 599 requests (a 4% increase compared with 2016). The number of calls from health care professionals has increased by about 7% in 2017 (28 192) compared to 2016 (26 239). The distribution of calls during the day varies and has its highest point from 16-20 p.m. During night time (at 24-06), the calls from healthcare questions were significantly higher (56%) than during the rest of the day.
The Poisons Centre has 37 employees. In addition to information and counseling by telephone, work time is spent on world surveillance, revision of advisory documentation and quality assurance of these. Furthermore, information is prepared for prevention and to different target groups in the form of information brochures, web pages and social media. In 2017, 16 scientific articles has been published, a larger number of abstracts / congress talks.
The Telephone Service provides consultant-supported clinical toxicology advice 24-hour every day of year both for National Health Service and general public. The Telephone Service is connected to the emergency number 112. It is always one pharmacist and one anesthetist in service.
Sources of information
The main role of the Poisons Centre is to advise national healthcare and general public on the diagnosis and treatment of poisoned patients in case of acute poisoning with medical products, chemicals or biological toxins. Toxicological and medical data are collected from different sources, evaluated and processed to be used for advisory activities. The Poisons Centre also continuously monitors which new drugs are registered and write treatment documents for those entered into the database.
Monographs of substances
A substantial part of the database consists of substance monographs focusing on risk, symptoms and treatment in poisoning. The ambition is to have updated monographs of those pharmaceuticals, chemical substances and biological toxins, which are frequently causing poisonings.
Discharge records from hospitals
An important basis for the Poisons Centre advice is the discharge records (copies of journal summaries) of poisoning cases that the hospital sends on a voluntary basis every year. Particularly important is the information about poisons with drugs and chemical products that are new to the market. In 2017, it has been received about 6000 copies of journals, which corresponds to almost half of the hospitalized poisoning cases in Sweden.
Incidents with chemical products are relatively common. In 2013, The Poisons Centre was formally appointed as the body responsible for receiving information about chemical composition of products, according to EU Regulation 1272/2008 (CLP), will receive data on the content of chemical products. These are used to develop preventive and therapeutic measures, especially in emergencies. About 13,000 product updates were handled in 2017.
Assignments and collaborations
The Poisons Centre, in additional to internal collaboration with the Swedish Medical Products Agency, collaborates with a number of national organizations like the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the Swedish Chemicals Agency and the National Board of Health and Welfare. Other assignments on a national basis are e.g. providing specialist education of physicians in training (Acute Poisoning and Metabolic Syndromes), providing expert educational/informative texts or lectures, and expert roles in publication reviews.
- Member of European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists (EAPCCT) Working Group on Poisons Centre Activities/European Regulatory Issues.
- Member of the editorial board for the journal of Clinical Toxicology, and referee assignments for the same journal.
- Member of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) ICE Integration group. In collaboration with IKEM –Innovation and Chemical Industries in Sweden.
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