Each Specialist in Poison Information (SPI) is either a registered nurse or pharmacist with special training in toxicology. Eighty percent of our staff are Certified Specialists in Poison Information (CSPI) who have taken and passed a rigorous examination sponsored by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. All SPIs are required to sit for the exam as soon as they are eligible.
The nurses and pharmacists who answer our hotline collaborate with a group of clinical and medical toxicology consultants, all of whom are board-certified in toxicology and who maintain 24-hour on-call availability. The toxicological expertise of the specialists and consultants, supplemented by the latest medical resources, enables The Poison Control Center to appropriately manage any poisoning emergency.
The SPIs work with a continually updated library of computer databases to identify the ingredients and toxicities of millions of pharmaceutical products and everyday items such as household cleaning products, cosmetics, over-the-counter medications and arts and crafts supplies:
Specialists also have immediate access to medical toxicology texts and journal reprint files.
Poison Information Providers work under the guidance of Specialists in Poison Information and the managing director.
In one day an SPI may counsel a parent whose child has swallowed a handful of vitamins, an adult who took a double dose of his blood pressure medication, an emergency response professional at an accident site spewing toxic fumes and an emergency department physician treating an overdose victim.
No matter the circumstance, the caller can rely on a team of professionals who have training, experience and the most current medical information available for the management of poisoning exposures. For those patients who are critically ill, or whose intoxication is particularly exotic, our medical director, physician consultants and specialists will provide direct consultation to the attending physician and maintain communication throughout the patient's hospital course of treatment.
Call our 24-hour toll-free emergency hotline