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Spread the Word about Our Life-saving Tool

The Bottom Line

Now, for those who prefer not to call, there's a way to get expert answers online, too. webPOISONCONTROL® is the first online triage tool and app to provide individualized guidance for poison emergencies. webPOISONCONTROL guides users faced with a poison emergency through a series of simple questions leading to action recommendations for swallowed poisons.

The Full Story

Now there is a second way to get help in a poison emergency. Besides calling the 24/7 Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222, you can now use an iPhone, iPad, Android device, or your web browser to evaluate an unintentional poisoning. webPOISONCONTROL asks simple questions to determine the danger of a swallowed substance before symptoms develop. Questions include the substance name, amount swallowed, age, weight, and time since exposure. Just like calling 1-800-222-1222, all information you provide to webPOISONCONTROL is kept confidential.

webPOISONCONTROL determines whether users should treat a poisoning incident at home, contact Poison Control by phone, or go to an emergency room. The free webPOISONCONTROL app includes 43,000 products linked to 1260 treatment plans. More than 187,000 barcodes allow mobile device users to scan the product container instead of typing the product name.

webPOISONCONTROL was made possible by charitable contributions to the National Capital Poison Center, the project lead. It is already being used by poison centers in DC, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, and Virginia. The tool was developed by the poison experts to respond to the need to provide a trusted online resource for poison emergencies, instead of the many inaccurate recommendations that can be found on online.

A recent study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that webPOISONCONTROL augments traditional poison control services. More than 91% of its users found the tool quick and easy to use. Feedback survey results indicate the reasons why people are using the tool vary: some are embarrassed to call or fear being judged, while others feel that an app is more convenient and faster than calling a hotline. But everyone should know that it’s always okay to call Poison Control (1-800-222-1222).

Help us spread the word about the new online tool that can save lives. Let family, friends, neighbors, colleagues know that there are now two ways to get help in a poison emergency: calling 1-800-222-1222 or using our online tool webPOISONCONTROL.

The app is available online at webPOISONCONTROL.org or can be downloaded on mobile devices from the App Store or Google play.

Thorsten Ruehlemann
Media Relations


For More Information

www.webPOISONCONTROL.org (About Us) 

Try the tool so you can see what it's like. That way you will be prepared if you ever need it. Be sure to check the box that says "I'm just trying the tool. This is not a real case" so we know you are testing and that your case is not real. (The checkbox will appear after you answer the first few questions.)


References

Litovitz TL, Benson BE, Smolinske S. webPOISONCONTROL: can poison control be automated? Am J Emerg Med 2016;34:1614-9. 

Poisoned?

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Prevention Tips

This Really Happened

Case 1: A 4-year-old boy got into the melatonin gummies. Mom used webPOISONCONTROL, entering age, weight, product name and the number taken and found the dose was safe. She later described the feeling of “instant relief of possible panic”. She added "The questions are so simple and easy to follow. You've thought of every possibility too!"

Case 2: An 18-month-old boy got into the stain remover spray. Dad used the webPOISONCONTROL downloadable app on his mobile device and scanned the product code to find the exact product instantly. After entering the child’s age and amount swallowed, he found it was safe to stay home, with instructions to watch for persistent or severe coughing, diarrhea or vomiting. After receiving a follow-up email 2 hours after the stain remover was swallowed, Dad clicked the link to provide follow-up and indicated that no symptoms had developed. Later he commented that he found the app "very easy to use" and especially liked the "methodical questions", "immediate response", and "not having to call and talk to someone".