Home > Poisons Information Centre annual report 2008.

Walsh, Simone (2009) Poisons Information Centre annual report 2008. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 31, Autumn 2009, p. 23.

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The Poisons Information Centre, located in Beaumont Hospital, is the national information service providing advice on the features and management of poisonings.  This service is provided 24 hours a day 365 days a year and is offered mainly to heath care professionals. Queries are dealt with by poison information officers at the Centre between 8 am and 10 pm; out–of-hours enquiries are re-directed to the UK National Poisons Information Service (NPIS). The 2008 report includes analysis of all enquiries made to the centre, including, for the first time, Irish calls handled by the UK service.1  

In 2008 the centre received 10,494 enquires, a reduction of 4.7% on the 2007 figure. An average of 28 calls a day was received, with a peak call time between 6 pm and 9 pm. There were 9,911 (94.4%) enquires in relation to poisoning in humans, 442 (4.2%) in relation to poisoning in animals, and 141 (1.3%) general enquiries. Enquiries were mainly from hospitals (38%), general practitioners (35%) and members of the public (22.1%).
Of the enquiries relating to poisoning in humans, 4,985 (50.3%) involved children under 10 years old, with a peak age of one to four years [4,087 (41.2%)]. The majority of incidents occurred in the home (89.9%).  In the total of 9,911 enquiries involving human poisoning, 16,936 agents were involved. The most common substances taken were paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine. Ethanol was ingested in 634 cases, often in combination with another substance. The majority of cases, 5,681 (57.3%), were reported as accidents, while a quarter, 2,491 (25.1%), were classed as intentional poisoning or recreational abuse. The remainder were classed as therapeutic error, adverse reaction, other and unknown.
1. Poisons Information Centre of Ireland (2009) Annual Report 2008. Dublin: Poisons Information Centre. www.poisons.ie
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco), Prescription/Over the counter
Issue Title
Issue 31, Autumn 2009
October 2009
Page Range
p. 23
Health Research Board
Issue 31, Autumn 2009
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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