Duval County

Florida’s Poison Control Centers celebrates 30 years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s Poison Control Centers celebrated 30 years at UF Health Jacksonville in Hogan’s Creek Thursday morning. It was established in 1989 in response to the overwhelming need for emergency poison information in the state.

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Officials hope to expand its services to the public in years to come by rolling out text and online chatting, among other things, as the next phase of their mission.

That, along with accomplishments the center had in the past year, was highlighted during today’s ceremony. Jacksonville is one of three poison centers in the state and serves 45 counties in the northern region. The poison specialists on staff are uniquely trained to assess, triage and manage poison information and exposure calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year long.

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Medication mistakes, household product ingestions, snake and spider bites, and pesticide exposures are just some examples of what they treat.

“[They] try to find out what the exposure was, how long ago, what symptoms they are having. They can give you some treatment advice to keep you at home,” said Dr. Dawn Sollee, director of the Florida/USVI Poison Information Center, Jacksonville. “So, out of the cases that come from the home we can manage more than 85% of them in the home and prevent a needless ER visit.”

Florida’s Poison Control Centers conduct a full spectrum of poison prevention educational programs for the general public, including how to be safe during Halloween.

For poisoning questions or emergencies, call 1-800-222-1222.