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Using the National Poisoning Data System for Public health surveillance : a collaborative effort of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Association of Poison Control Centers
  • Published Date:
    July 2005
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Filetype[PDF-145.80 KB]

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  • Description:
    The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have combined efforts to help local poison control centers (PCCs) detect chemical exposure events and ensure effective responses. The focus of these efforts is to use the National Poisoning Data System (NPDS) database to improve public health surveillance of chemical exposures and other potential health hazards. Every 4 to 10 minutes, 61 regional poison control centers upload case data to NPDS, which is operated at AAPCC. CDC and AAPCC have developed methods to use NPDS data for real-time automated alerting that will generate more immediate and effective responses to public health threats related to toxins or chemicals in the environment. The NPDS database is a flexible and adaptable system that can be used to • identify early indicators for chemical exposures occurring at multiple sites throughout the United States; • identify emerging problems that may be associated with newly introduced household products, pharmaceuticals, or pesticides; • identify illnesses resulting from intentional or unintentional chemical exposures at a single site or across multiple locations; and • monitor the frequency of reports involving potentially abused substances. Operational since 1985, NPDS is the only poisoning surveillance database in the United States, representing 99.8% of all poison exposures reported to poison control centers nationwide. NPDS currently logs 2.2 million poison exposures annually from 61 of the 62 U.S. poison control centers. The cumulative NPDS database contains information about more than 36.2 million human poison exposure cases. The data fields for NPDS include case information (center, date), call information (exposure site, reason for exposure), caller information (location by zip code, county, state), patient information (age, sex, pregnancy), exposure information (acuity, duration, number of substances, route of exposure, substance, and amount), and information about case management (management site, therapy), medical outcomes, and toxic effects.
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