The West Virginia Poison Center provides comprehensive emergency poison information, prevention, and educational resources to West Virginians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Each call to the poison center is answered by a Specialist in Poison Information who is specially trained in the management of poisoning emergencies.
The West Virginia Poison Center (WVPC) offers assessment and emergency treatment advice on accidental exposures to medications and household substances, plant ingestions, snake, spider and other insect bites and stings, chemical spills, occupational exposures, and drug overdoses.
The West Virginia Poison Center serves all 55 counties in West Virginia. This includes: the general public regardless of socio-economic class, infants, children, adolescents, adults and senior citizens, health care professionals in hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. The WVPC also provides treatment information for the pets of West Virginians. The West Virginia Poison Center performs several roles:
A resource center. The WVPC is a source of current information about thousands of harmful products.
- A learning center. The WVPC reaches out to people with educational programs for families, day care centers, schools, service clubs and civic groups. The poison center also helps train and update medical professionals about new poison research and treatment.
- A community service center. Call the WVPC first when you suspect a poisoning. Our poison specialists will instruct you on how to properly handle the situation at home or to seek immediate medical attention.
- An early warning system to alert health care professionals to environmental hazards, new patterns of drug abuse, and problems of drug misuse.
- The poison center is also available to consult with employees and industry leaders faced with the problem of chemical exposure in the workplace.
Call the Poison Center for:
- Treatment for accidental poisonings.
- Information on poison prevention.
- Assistance with a drug overdose.
- Bites and stings.
- Adverse reactions to drugs and chemicals.
- Toxicity caused by drug interactions.
- Poisonings from drugs of abuse (cocaine, LSD, etc.)
- Spider and snake bites.
- Poisoning of animals.
- Hazardous spill exposures.
- Occupational exposure to chemicals.
- Chronic lead poisoning.
- Toxic/non-toxic plant information.
- Educational programs for your school or organization.
The WVPC was established in 1979 and is located on the West Virginia University Charleston Division Campus. It was recognized as West Virginia’s only poison center in 1986. In that same year, the WVPC became a Certified Regional Poison Center, one of only 54 in the United States. The certification has been granted again due to superior work and strict adherence to the guidelines. Funding for the WVPC is provided by WVU Charleston Division, WVU, West Virginia Legislature, member hospitals, grants and donations.
The poison center staff consists of the Director, Medical Director, Community Outreach Coordinator, Program Specialist and eight Registered Nurses (RN).Each call to the poison center is answered by a Specialist in Poison Information who is specially trained in the management of poisoning emergencies. Qualified staff become Certified Specialists in Poison Information. This is the result of extensive work in the area of toxicology and an exam. The WVPC utilizes many different resources for recommendations of patient treatment. Computer data banks as well as a comprehensive toxicological library are on hand for the most up to date information. Specialty consultants are also on call 24 hours a day for expert information on complex cases.