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It is important for EMS to know when to call the poison center as oftentimes, such a call can save lives, prevent unnecessary emergency department visits, and fast-track treatment. The tips below provide a general guideline of situations which warrant a call to the Missouri Poison Center. For more information, contact one of our Professional Education consultants regarding a free educational session.

EMS can call the Poison Center for:

  • Overdoses
  • Unintentional poisonings
  • Pill identification
  • Treatment advice
  • Possible symptoms
  • Advice on when to transport
  • Antidote information and coordination
  • Contact receiving hospital
  • Hazardous materials
  • Reporting a poisoning
  • Information on trends of abuse

Education Opportunities

The Missouri Poison Center offers various 1 to 2 hour education presentations for Emergency Medical Services. Education sessions range from introduction to the poison center, trends in drug abuse, seasonal hazards/exposures, psychiatric medications, to drugs commonly used to overdose. There is no charge for a presentation.

Introduction to the Poison Center Outline

  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Management of the poisoned patient
  3. Toxidromes: syndromes caused by a dangerous level of toxins in the body
  4. Red flags – poisons that you should pay attention to, need treatment and transport via EMS.
  5. Outdated antidotes and dangerous first aid
  6. The shrinking role of Gastric Decontamination
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