Tygerberg Poison Information Centre
Calls are dealt with by specially trained poison information specialists with a background in medicine, pharmacy and medical sciences.
The main function of the centre is to advise health care professionals and the general public on how to deal with acute poisonings. This enables them to deal with problems related to acute poisonings rationally and timeously, thereby minimizing complications. At the same time, this acts as a filter system to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.
The Centre deals with poisonings including
- medicines and drugs
- household products
- industrial chemicals
- plants and animals
The Centre also deals with
- Occupational and environmental toxicology.
- Forensic toxicology
- Procedures to be followed, when dealing with cases of mass exposure to toxins after transit and industrial accidents.
- The interpretation of the concentrations of medicinal agents in body fluids and their optimization in the course of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM).
- Medicines, their indications and optimal applications in rational regimens for treating diseases.
- General information on poisons, and potentially poisonous substances.
The Centre specializes in the management animal poisonings and toxic plant exposures. These include
- snake and spider bites,
- scorpion stings,
- marine envenomings and poisonings,
- plant and mushroom ingestions.
Education and teaching
- Teaching toxicology to undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and supervising postgraduate research projects in toxicology.
- Toxicology Workshops: for training of medical doctors, pharmacists, pharmacist interns, paramedics and nurses on management of exposures to poisonous substances.
- Public education and information programmes on the prevention and immediate management of acute poisoning.
- The TPIC personnel regularly contributes to radio and television programmes, newspapers and magazines as well as taking part in poisoning presentations to the general public.
- Development of Poisoning Management charts.
- Epidemiology of poisoning.
- Biological toxin research on snake, spider and scorpion venoms.