CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA –The Blue Ridge Poison Center (BRPC) at the University of Virginia Health will join poison centers and partners across the country in celebrating the 62nd Annual National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), March 19-25, 2023. In addition to operating a 24-hour free
hotline – which received more than 18,000 confidential calls last year – staff also serve as researchers, educators, and advocates for poisoning prevention throughout the region. Here are a few examples:
• Surveillance and tracking. Call data from all U.S. poison centers is uploaded in near-real time to a national database. This helps poison center staff and public health officials identify and monitor substance misuse trends, emerging poisoning concerns, and potentially hazardous chemical outbreaks.
• Professional education. Each year, BRPC clinicians educate numerous healthcare professionals and students by many means, including in-person and virtual lectures; the UVA School of Medicine’s Medical Toxicology elective Rotation; and the two-year Medical Toxicology Fellowship program. Additionally, the center has a newsletter for healthcare professionals.
• Advocacy. The center’s director, Dr. Christopher Holstege, has met and presented before many groups—including state entities–about the rapid rise in numbers of children getting into cannabis edibles and the need for safer packaging practices.
• Public Education. The center is actively involved in helping people reduce their risk of poisoning injury. Visit the website (www.brpc.virginia.edu) to order materials, access videos and other online resources, request a speaker, and more. All resources are free.
Additional health services. Examples include: Physician consultation, research, disaster preparedness, HAZMAT response, pill identification, and more.
What can citizens do?
• Visit www.brpc.virginia.edu to learn how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from poisoning.
• Program the poison center hotline number into all phones: 1-800-222-1222.
• Follow the Blue Ridge Poison Center on Facebook and Twitter. Like or share our posts with your own followers.