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When accidents happen with chemicals, medicine, or household items, call Poison Help. Get help right away from a local poison expert.

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Poison Centers

Maryland Poison Center…40 Years of Excellence!

The Maryland Poison Center Exit Disclaimer. (MPC) is celebrating 40 years of service. When it opened in 1972 at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, a staff of three aided by medical and pharmacy students answered just over 8,000 calls during its first year in operation. In 2011, the public and healthcare professionals in Maryland made over 63,000 calls to the MPC. In addition to a growth in call volume, MPC staff has gone from a staff of three to a staff of over 20 professionals Exit Disclaimer. including 10 full-time pharmacists and nurses who are Certified Specialists in Poison Information (CSPI).

The MPC offers a clinical toxicology fellowship Exit Disclaimer. and is a training site for pharmacy students, paramedic students, and physicians. The MPC also works closely with the State Medical Examiner’s office, state and local health departments, state and local Safe Kids coalitions, and state and local EMS providers.

Calls to the MPC are analyzed in real-time for trends and events that might be of public health significance (e.g. terrorism, food poisoning, product recalls). Over the years, MPC specialists have provided triage and treatment advice related to various poisoning exposures including:

  • Gasoline ingestions in 1979 when long lines at gas pumps forced some to siphon gas from one tank to another
  • Cyanide contamination of Tylenol in 1982
  • Train fire in a tunnel under Baltimore in 2001
  • Anthrax attacks in 2001
  • Carbon monoxide exposures during blizzards and tropical storms in 2009, 2010, and 2011
  • Abuse of synthetic marijuana and “bath salts” since 2010
  • Mercury in skin lightening creams in 2011

The MPC strives to prevent poisonings and raise awareness of poison center services through education programs, Poison Prevention Press e-newsletter, Exit Disclaimer. and distribution of poison prevention materials to the public.  Education extends to health professionals through educational programs and podcasts. ToxTidbits, Exit Disclaimer. an e-newsletter for health professionals, helps pharmacists, physicians, nurses and others stay up-to-date with the assessment and treatment of poisonings.

As the need for poison center services continues to increase, the MPC will continue providing quality and cost-effective triage and treatment for the poisonings that are likely to pose the greatest challenges for all poison centers—misuse of prescription drugs, mistakes with medications among seniors, and bioterrorist threats among others. For more information, visit MPC. Exit Disclaimer.