The Palmetto Poison Center, located at the UofSC College of Pharmacy, serves all 46 counties in South Carolina and receives over 37,000 calls per year for treatment information on exposures to poisonous, hazardous, or toxic materials. We provide services free-of-charge to the S.C. residents and health professionals 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year.
Our center is staffed by healthcare professionals - including pharmacists and nurses - who are formally trained in toxicology as specialists in poison information. We participate as an experiential site for fourth-year pharmacy students, in addition to being involved in educational training of emergency medicine physicians and pediatricians. In 2006, the Palmetto Poison Center was awarded certification as a Regional Poison Center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, a designation achieved by only 61 centers nationally.
Types of Calls
Our calls range from accidental and intentional ingestion of poisonous substances and medications to adverse drug effects, occupational exposures, envenomations, and biochemical disasters. Over 50% of calls involve exposures in patients under the age of six. A majority of the time we can reassure the caller and provide advice for safe observation at home, avoiding a costly trip to the emergency room.
When necessary, the Poison Center can give immediate management advice to a caregiver in the home or provide consultation to health care providers charged with the care of a poisoning emergency. Our medical director, a physician with specialty training and board certification in the field of medical toxicology, is available 24/7 to provide physician-to-physician advice.
A UofSC study found that for every dollar spent on the Palmetto Poison Center, more than $7 were saved in unnecessary healthcare costs, including emergency room and physician visits, ambulance services, and unnecessary medical treatments.
Additional savings occur when other benefits are included: assisting health professionals in optimally managing poisoned patients, decreasing hospital stays, poison prevention education, real-time data analysis to identify poisoning clusters, and providing the general public free, around-the-clock access to certified poison information specialists.
The Palmetto Poison Center is proud to serve the entire state of South Carolina. Call 1-800-222-1222 for information regarding poison prevention and treatment of exposures. Follow us on Facebook