Pittsburgh Poison Center will join
poison centers around the country in celebrating National Poison Prevention
Week March 17 through 23.
Lynch, M.D., medical director of Pittsburgh Poison Center, which is located at UPMC Presbyterian, said that like
the local site, America’s other 56 poison centers are committed to safeguarding
the health and well-being of every American through poison prevention and free,
confidential, expert medical services.
“Our number is
1-800-222-1222. Program your cell phone with the Poison Help number and post it
near your home phone,” Dr. Lynch advised. “If the unthinkable happens, it’s
good to know help is just a phone call away.”
occur at anytime and to anyone, he said. The Center takes calls around the clock to help those who have been exposed
to a poison and to answer the public’s questions about a potential poisoning.
“We also reach
out to our communities with information about how poisonings occur and ways to
prevent them. Prevention is the best possible medicine,” Dr. Lynch said.
In 2012, the
Pittsburgh Poison Center made and received over 150,000 calls regarding public
health and safety issues.
centers answered more than 3.6 million calls in 2011, including about 2.3 million calls
about human exposures to poisons, according to the American
Association of Poison Control Centers. About 90 percent of the people who
called with poison emergencies were treated at home following the advice of
poison center experts, saving millions of dollars in medical expenses.
Prevention Week, established by the U.S. Congress, is commissioned by the
Poison Prevention Week Council, an organization of public and private partners
committed to reducing unintentional poisonings and promoting poison prevention.
It occurs annually during the third week of March.