Document Detail

Demand for poison control center services "surged" during the 2003 blackout.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17453875     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Beginning 8/14/03, for 24 hours, the largest geographic power failure in U.S. history occurred. Our Poison Control Center (PCC) catchment area was one of the most severely affected, with most of the population left without electricity, fuel, water pressure, or municipal potable water. The paucity of reports on the impact of disasters on PCC operations led us to summarize our experience. METHOD: Data sources included 1) Toxicall human exposures during 8/03 (with comparison to 2002 and to national trends) and 2) an after-action report completed by Specialists-in-Poison Information (SPI's) on duty during the disaster. RESULTS: The average call volume for 8/03 increased by 7.8%. Significant increases in human exposure and information calls occurred in four categories: gasoline, carbon monoxide, food poisoning, and water contamination. After-action report findings included: vulnerability of PCC operations to interruptions in power supply; lack of redundant communication methods; staffing challenges; and exclusion of PCC staff from hospital disaster plans despite co-location. CONCLUSION: During the blackout of 2003, there was a measurably increased demand for poison center services. PCC disaster plans should address increased staffing needs during the time of disaster, communication system redundancy, back-up power supply, and SPI needs (food, water, transportation, environmental safety, and rest/rotation).
Kelly R Klein; Perri Herzog; Susan Smolinske; Suzanne R White
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.)     Volume:  45     ISSN:  1556-3650     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin Toxicol (Phila)     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-24     Completed Date:  2007-05-15     Revised Date:  2009-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101241654     Medline TA:  Clin Toxicol (Phila)     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  248-54     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Emergency Medicine, Wayne State University/Michigan Department of Commuity Health, Detroit, Michigan, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Disasters / statistics & numerical data*
Electric Power Supplies / statistics & numerical data*
Food Contamination / statistics & numerical data
Gasoline / poisoning
Poison Control Centers / utilization*
Power Plants / statistics & numerical data*
Retrospective Studies
United States
Water Pollution / statistics & numerical data
Reg. No./Substance:

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