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EMS Education Tips

From the Editor
by Greg Friese, Editor-in-Chief

Program poison control phone number into your phone now

Every EMS provider should have the phone number for poison control programmed into their smartphone

Program this phone number into your cell phone right now: 1-800-222-1222.

It is the nationwide Poison Control Center phone number; your call will be routed to a regional or state poison control center. When you call the poison control center number regarding an ingested poison, have this information ready:

  • Patient’s gender, age and weight
  • Ingested substance(s) — if known
  • Amount ingested — exact or approximate
  • Dose size if pills were ingested
  • Time of ingestion
  • Patient’s signs, symptoms and most recent vital signs
  • Any treatment self-administered by patient, bystanders, EMS or emergency department
  • Other co-ingestants — like alcohol and drugs
  • Additional information that might be helpful — was this an accidental or intentional ingestion

Be prepared for additional questions from the poison control center call taker. Write down the directions provided, ask any clarifying questions, and provide treatments appropriate to your skills, training and authorization.

Learn more about Poison Control Centers at www.aapcc.org and call your poison control center for stickers and magnets to put near landline telephones.

About the author

Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is Editor-in-Chief of EMS1.com. He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by e-mailing him at greg.friese@ems1.com.
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