The Poison Control and Drug Information Center: The Palestinian Experience

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Isr Med Assoc J. Nov;10(11):757-60
Year of Publication: 
Ansam F. Sawalha
Current Affiliation: 
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

BACKGROUND: The Palestinian Poison Control and Drug Information Center was established in 2006 to provide up-to-date information on medications and to help in the early diagnosis and management of poisoning cases. OBJECTIVES: To summarize the activities carried out by the PCDIC in the past 2 years. METHODS: Documented inquires received at the PCDIC were analyzed and the Center\\\'s activities were extracted from the files. RESULTS: During the first 2 years of the Center's existence, 323 enquiries were received, mainly (67.2%)from physicians; 70% of the calls were from the city of Nablus. Unintentional poisoning was the leading type of call (62.8%) followed by suicidal poisoning (20.7%). Medications were the major category of toxicants encountered (48.9%), followed by pesticides (23.5%). In 67.9% of the cases, the calls were initiated before any treatment was provided. The advice provided by the PCDIC was based on the nature of the call. During these 2 years the PCDIC has conducted both academic and non-academic activities. The Center introduced the concept of poison prevention weeks in Palestine and has conducted two so far. The PCDIC has published several articles in the fields of toxicology, rational drug use, complementary and herbal therapy, pharmacoepidemiology, and self-medication. CONCLUSIONS: Documentation of all enquiries is mandatory for analysis, evaluation, comparative purposes and quality assurance. More information campaigns are needed to encourage people to use the services provided by the PCDIC.