The Maryland Poison Center is certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers as a regional poison center. It has provided poisoning treatment advice, education, and prevention services to Marylanders since 1972.
The mission of the Maryland Poison Center is to decrease the cost and complexity of poisoning and overdose care while maintaining and/or improving patient outcomes.
About the Poison Center:
The Maryland Poison Center (MPC) is part of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. It is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Callers can reach the MPC at 1-800-222-1222.
The MPC is staffed by pharmacists and nurses who are certified as specialists in poison information by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. These specialists have more than 230 combined years of experience managing poisoning and overdose cases. Over the past 40 years, they have helped more than 2 million Marylanders with calls about:
- Drugs and medicines (i.e., prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, supplements, illegal, or veterinary)
- Household, garden, and personal care products
- Chemicals (at home and work)
- Plants (i.e., mushrooms, indoor and outdoor plants)
- Bites and stings (i.e., insects, snakes, animals)
- Gases and fumes
- Food poisoning
- Any items that give individuals an unwanted or unexpected reaction
A call to the MPC is faster and a lot less expensive than a visit to the emergency room. About 70 percent of all cases reported to the MPC are managed safely at home. If a patient is sent to the hospital, the MPC will speak with the doctors and nurses to develop a treatment plan. The MPC monitors patients in the hospital until they are discharged.
In addition to serving as a valuable tool for families, the MPC also receives calls from doctors, nurses, paramedics, and pharmacists. The Center is connected with the statewide 911 system and the state emergency medical services system. This allows poison treatment information to be given directly to first responders who are with the patient.
The MPC is committed to educating the public and health professionals about poison prevention. Public education is available through:
- educational materials
- programs for children and adults
- displays at health fairs and events
Education for health professionals is available through:
- on-site training