View the Virginia Poison Center’s 2014 annual report.
The Virginia Poison Center is a free 24/7 emergency service that assists residents and physicians in central and eastern Virginia with cases of exposure to poisonous chemicals, venoms, vapors or medications.
We opened in 1958 as Virginia’s first poison center and in 1990, grew our service area to include eastern Virginia. We are nationally certified as a regional poison center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Our service area includes approximately 3.2 million people and 48 acute care hospitals and urgent care centers. Services are provided to patients of all ages. At our call center, registered nurses are specially trained to provide expert assistance and treatment for victims exposed to poisons.
Our mission is to provide rapid, expert and compassionate help to the public and health professionals in cases of suspected poison exposures, and to provide public and professional education that reduces poison incidents.
- 24/7 advice and information over the phone to the residents of our service region
- 24/7 resource for health care professionals treating patients who have been exposed to toxins
- Clinical toxicologists provide direct patient care through bedside or telephone consultations
- Prevent unintentional poisonings through an active public education program
- Train health care professionals in clinical toxicology
- Collect and analyze data related to toxic exposures
- Improve domestic preparedness through participation in homeland security initiatives and other public safety venues
- 75 percent of calls are from the public; 25 percent are from health care providers
- 50 percent of exposures involve children ages 1 to 6
- 65 percent of our patients are safely treated over the phone
- 30,000 calls were handled by our staff in 2015
- 83 percent of calls are about exposure to a drug or chemical
- 17 percent are informational calls/inquiries about potential hazards or safety venues