The Swedish Poisons Information Centre is a national clinical toxicology service with the objective to provide advice, information and guidelines to the general public, health care providers and other national organizations.
The Swedish Poisons Information Centre is a unit within the Swedish Medical Products Agency, a public authority under the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. It is financed by a government grant. The staff consists of approximately 40 people primarily pharmacists and physicians. The latter are specialised in anaesthesia and intensive care.
Information, advice and guidelines are provided through a telephone service and the centre’s two websites containing information aimed towards the public and physicians, respectively.
The telephone service provides consultant-supported clinical toxicology advice to the general public and health care professionals 24-hour every day of the year. It is connected to the national emergency number 112, which together with health care professionals have access to priority telephone numbers.
The centre receives about 95 000 telephone calls per year. The average number of incoming calls per 24-hour is around 260, with the main peak between 16.00 and 20.00, and a smaller peak around 10.00 o’clock.
Online advice, information and guidelines are available for the general public at giftinformation.se and for health care personnel at giftinformation.se/lakare. The centre has also developed an antidote data base at giftinformation.se/antidot.
Sources of information
Monographs of substances
To be able to give sound and up-to-date advice the centre has developed a database with more than 8 000 treatment documents based on toxicological and medical data from the published medical literature and from experience gathered through collection of discharge records. The documents are evaluated by physicians and pharmacists at the centre and are continuously revised and updated. Monitoring of new drugs is considered particularly important in the process of updating the database of treatment documents. By developing our own database, we can provide information well suited to the national toxicological panorama and healthcare system.
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 gathered through these summaries about poisons with drugs and chemical products that are new to the market.
In accordance with the EU Regulation 1272/2008 (CLP), the centre is formally appointed as the body responsible for receiving information about the composition of chemical products classified as hazardous on the basis of their health or physical effects. These are used to develop preventative advice and therapeutic measures in emergencies with such products.
After 1 January 2021 with the application of Annex VIII of this regulation, the centre will receive product information from the central portal of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The centre is developing a new software to make this possible.
Consultancies and collaborations
The centre, in additional to internal collaboration with the Swedish Medical Products Agency, works together with several national organizations such as the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the Swedish Chemicals Agency and the National Board of Health and Welfare.
On a national basis the centre also provides education of hospital staff and physicians in training, contribute to the medical literature through national and international publications of peer reviewed articles and text-book chapters and provide updated clinical advice in on its websites.
- collaboration with the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists (EAPCCT) and other international toxicological experts.
- reviewing of journal articles for Clinical Toxicology.
- representative at the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) ICE Integration group, in collaboration with Innovation and Chemical Industries in Sweden (IKEM).
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