Many may not be aware that there is a Call Center for general public to know information in case of poisoning due to drugs, insecticides, pesticides or when accidentally bitten by poisonous snakes and insects.
The 'Poison Information Center' run by the Clinical Pharmacy Department of the city's JSS Hospital has turned into a timely boon for several people. Dialing toll free number 1800-425-0207, farmers and general public including health care professionals can get instant information about the early first aid measures and treatment of poisoning.
The Centre has received 675 calls till January 2013, since it was set up in September 2010. Majority of the calls were related to enquires about pesticide/insecticide poisoning followed by poisoning due to medicines.
The Center has created a database about most common poisons normally encountered which it disseminates at the click of mouse whenever needed. The center works from 8 am to 8 pm. The poison information centre is a ready source of reference for the doctors for identification of poisonous substances and management of poison cases.
The Department has conducted awareness and educational workshops in ten villages in the vicinity of Mysore and Chamarajanagar to educate farmers about the safe handling, storage, disposal of pesticides and about poison related queries. Around 8000 people participated and benefited from these awareness workshops.
Dr G Parthasarathi, Head of the Department said that the number of people calling the Center has risen over the year. “People accidentally bitten by reptiles like snake or scorpion and insects like bee or wasp immediately call the Center to get first hand information about the remedial steps to be taken.”
Dr Parthasarathi says there are around 4250 pesticides products available in market in this region and the centre has created a database of these marketed preparations. This database helps in quick identification of the poisonous substance and suitable remedial measures for the same.
“Plans have been made to start the analytical toxicology services and extend the service round the clock. Efforts are being made to identify the common poisoning agents by conducting local toxicovigilance studies, to reach larger population,” he added.
Shubha, one of the visitor to the centre said that the center is very helpful to know authoritative first hand information and about the importance of early detection and management of poisoning cases.
About the department
The Department of Clinical Pharmacy was established in April 1997. Apart from running a Drug Information Centre, the department is recognised as one of the adverse drug reaction monitoring centers of the Pharmacovigilance Program of India (PvPI), Ministry of Health, GOI, and the regional center for the training and technical support for PvPI in southern region.