1-800-222-1222 is a Simple, Essential, but Often Neglected Phone Number
By Dr. Transon Nguyen, PharmD
One of the most often neglected, but possibly life-saving, phone numbers is the Poison Control Center’s national phone number, 1-800-222-1222. Over the years, many outpatient clinics and retail pharmacies have either forgotten (or did not realize) that this tool is available 24/7 and free of charge for their patients.
The National Poison Control Center toll-free number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide free, expert, and confidential guidance in a poison emergency.
When you call Poison Control, you will speak directly to a poison specialist who is a registered nurse or pharmacist. The poison specialist will ask you a few questions to determine the severity of your case, and then provide recommendations.
After many years of training as a nurse or a pharmacist, a poison specialist takes one additional year of training. Then the poison specialists sit for a national certifying exam to become CSPIs (Certified Specialists in Poison Information). These specialists can take your call and provide expert medical guidance in poison emergencies 24 hours a day. You can also call with questions about poison, not just poison emergencies.
It is always a good idea to recommend to our communities and patients putting the National Poison Center’s toll-free number on their phone list.
At AUHS (American University of Health Sciences), our resident Clinical Toxicology Expert and Associate Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Grant Lackey, managed complicated clinical pharmacy, toxicology, and drug information cases for UCSF Poison Control and Drug Information Center at UC Davis Health System for several years. Dr. Grant Lackey teaches a class at our AUHS School of Pharmacy in toxicology to prepare our future pharmacists to handle such complex cases. These are some of the resources that AUHS has prepared for our future healthcare professionals to be ready to serve and to handle complex healthcare situations.