About webPOISONCONTROL Data
webPOISONCONTROL® is an online tool and app that provides free, immediate triage recommendations and follow up for acute, unintentional exposures to a vast array of products and substances. It was created by Poison Control experts for those who cannot or will not call Poison Control but still need help for a suspected poisoning. webPOISONCONTROL brings the expertise of Poison Control to consumers where they want it – online. The fully-automated tool has managed more than 625,000 exposures to common substances like personal care products, cleaning products, medicines, pesticides, plants, bites and stings and more.
webPOISONCONTROL manages unintentional, single-substance poison exposures in humans – not pets. It focuses on 6-month to 79-year-old individuals, excluding those who are pregnant or have heart, kidney or liver disease or a serious illness. Individuals who cannot be triaged through this automated tool because of these exclusions should call Poison Control right away 1-800-222-1222 in the US.
Click here to try the webPOISONCONTROL tool. If it’s not a real case, remember to check “I’m just trying the tool”, which appears after the first few questions. These test cases are excluded from data analyses. Duplicate entries are also excluded through a computer-aided process by which toxicologists review each possibly duplicated entry the day after the case is entered. At the same time, these toxicologists also conduct case audits to be certain recommendations are appropriate and accurate.
About 70% of poison exposure cases managed by webPOISONCONTROL are triaged to home management. When cases can’t be managed by the tool, the user is instructed to call Poison Control or go to the ER, depending on the severity of the case. When home management is indicated, the user receives instructions about what to do next along with a list of expected symptoms, symptom timeline, and symptoms which should trigger a call to Poison Control or an ER visit.
webPOISONCONTROL data include poison exposure cases where a person has come into contact with a product or substance that is potentially harmful but has not necessarily been poisoned. The number of exposure cases reported to webPOISONCONTROL for a product or substance is influenced by many factors including a product’s prevalence in homes, market share, accessibility, packaging, formulation, appearance, storage site and the caregiver’s preference for online versus phone assistance after an exposure. Poison exposure frequency alone is not an indication that a product is not safe.
How to Analyze and Use webPOISONCONTROL Data
The webPOISONCONTROL public dashboard provides a mechanism to summarize and visualize poison exposure data and trends in near real-time. webPOISONCONTROL data have been collected since the tool was launched at the end of 2014, but this dashboard includes cases from 2016 through midnight yesterday. All completed poison exposure cases entered in webPOISONCONTROL are included in the data available for analysis, except user-entered duplicate cases and cases where the user indicates he or she is just trying the tool, that it’s not a real case. This dashboard is the first, and currently the only free and publicly available online source of national (U.S.) near real-time poison exposure data.
Quick Start Guide. Instructions about navigating the Data Analysis Dashboard
Data Elements. The following data elements are viewable in the dashboard:
- Poison exposure frequency. Exposure count trending by day or month.
- User’s location (state). Visualized in the “Maps” section of the dashboard.
- Exposed person’s age and sex. The exposed person must be between 6 months and 79 years old. Pregnant individuals are excluded.
- Product or substance. Captured via substance name, pill imprint, or barcode, and analyzed by category.
- Route of exposure. Depending on the substance and formulation, options include mouth, eye, skin, inhalation, bite or sting, injection, or combinations of routes.
- Double dose. Therapeutic errors involving a double dose or doses taken too close together, just once.
- Initial symptoms. Whether the exposed person is experiencing any symptoms at the time the user completes the triage tool, and if so, any that are severe or not expected for the implicated ingredients.
- Initial triage recommendation. Home, call Poison Control, or go to an ER.
Most users provide an email address, and automated follow up via email ensues. During follow-up additional information is collected, including:
- Action taken. We advise users whether they should stay home, call Poison Control, or go to an Emergency Room. We ask in follow up what they actually did.
- Specific symptoms that developed and the severity of each of those symptoms.
- Final triage recommendation. May reflect a change in the triage recommendation if one was required based on the symptoms that developed. Changes in the triage recommendation are expected but infrequent.
- Outcome: No effect, Minor, Moderate, Major, Death, Unknown minimally toxic, Unknown potentially toxic. Outcome definitions (all outcomes are based on effects that were the result of the exposure or possibly related to the exposure):
- No effect. No symptoms developed.
- Minor effect. Some minimally bothersome symptoms developed, and usually resolve rapidly with no residual disability.
- Moderate effect. More pronounced, more prolonged or more systemic symptoms developed, usually requiring treatment, but not life-threatening and there is no residual disability.
- Major effect. Life-threatening clinical effects developed or there was significant residual disability.
- Unknown minimally toxic. Applied to exposures that were expected to be nontoxic, trivial or minimally toxic and, if followed, likely to result in no effect or a minor effect. In webPOISONCONTROL, all cases triaged to home are assigned an initial outcome of “unknown minimally toxic” until follow-up is done. On follow-up, the outcome is automatically converted to a definitive outcome (no effect, minor effect, major effect, death) based on the user’s follow-up responses.
- Unknown potentially toxic. Applied to exposures that had the potential to cause more than a minor effect (moderate, major or fatal outcome), and to exposures where the toxicity and need for ER evaluation could not be adequately assessed online. In webPOISONCONTROL, all cases referred to call Poison Control or go to an ER are considered unknown potentially toxic unless follow-up is done. Most of these cases do not result in a serious outcome.
Product and brand-identifying data elements are also collected but not available in the public dashboard. Companies seeking more information about cases involving their products should contact email@example.com. These additional data elements are not included in the public dashboard:
- Product name. Captured via substance name, pill imprint, or barcode. Product information is collected at the specific product level whenever possible, including brand and formulation.
- Amount. Users are offered multiple options for units of measurement, appropriate to the substance’s formulation.
- Weight. In pounds or kilograms, if required by the associated ingredient algorithms to determine the recommendation.
- Time. Time from exposure to case start, in minutes, hours, or days.
webPOISONCONTROL data definitions mirror those used in NPDS.
How to Cite The webPOISONCONTROL Data Analysis Dashboard
webPOISONCONTROL® Data Analysis Dashboard. https://www.poison.org/webPOISONCONTROL-Data-Analysis-Dashboard. Accessed: MM-DD-YYYY