Washington Poison Center Programs
We save lives by taking about 85,000 calls year concerning poisons, medication errors, chemicals, plants, and more, as well as answer questions to prevent exposures. Our services are free, confidential, and available 24/7. Our program saves health care dollars because 93% of the time, the caller can be treated over the phone without being referred to a health care facility. Call 1-800-222-1222.
Health Care Providers
Can call us to receive instructions on how to treat exposures. Toxicology consultations are available for complicated cases. We are the experts the experts call!
Can receive, treat, or transport advice in the field in less than one minute. While all calls are answered quickly, emergency responders have their own dedicated phone line.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Washington Poison Center helped pass Carbon Monoxide (CO) and the Good Samaritan legislation. The Carbon monoxide law requires that all new homes and apartments with gas appliances have CO detectors. Additionally, when rental property is bought, the new owners must install CO detectors. CO detectors are inexpensive and save lives.
The Good Samaritan law, in most circumstances, removes the legal penalty, from taking a friend in to the emergency room in the event of a drug overdose. Both the friend and the person overdosing are covered (there are some exceptions). In the event of an overdose, people call the poison center for help!
In addition to answering calls, the poison center protects all residents of the state of Washington by constantly monitor trends. Our de-identified data is uploaded to the CDC every five to twenty minutes and we alert hospitals to trends that could cost people their lives, as well as, monitor antidotes and their availability.
With the latest round of state and federal funding cuts, donations are greatly needed. The doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who answer our phones are not volunteers. The average time an employee has worked in the call center is 12 years. Our Specialists in Poison Information must pass a rigorous certification test.