Poisoning Statistics, 2020 Washington, DC Metro Area
In 2020, the National Capital Poison Center provided consultations for 208,794 people. Approximately 19% (40,199) were calls about people exposed to a poison. An additional 158,378 (76%) were human exposures managed online through webPOISONCONTROL®. Other consultations involved pet poisonings (2,018) and information requests (8,199). Some interesting facts include:
- Most poison exposures (77%) were unintentional. The Center also received calls about other types of poisonings: medication side effects, substance abuse, malicious poisonings, and suicide attempts.
- 8,199 people (16% of the telephone consultations) called for poison-related information. Their questions were about possible problems with medication interactions, pesticide use, workplace chemicals, the safety of specific medications while breast-feeding, and many more topics.
- 39% of poison exposures involved children younger than six, but the most serious cases occurred in adolescents and adults.
- 55% of poison exposures involved medications; other exposures were to household or automotive products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings.
- 73% of poison exposures involved people who swallowed a drug or poison. People were also poisoned by inhalation and through exposures to the skin or eyes.
- 72% of poison exposures were safely managed over the phone and did not need medical treatment in a health care facility. However, 85% of those who called a poison center first, before going to a health care facility were safety treated at home. This number increases to nearly 94% when the Poison Center is consulted before other medical intervention is sought in pediatric poisonings.
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