Press Release


News Release
October 4, 2017
National Capital Poison Center:
             Toby Litovitz, MD, O: 202.362.7493

webPOISONCONTROL®  Upgrade Provides Expert Online Help for More Poison Exposures 

Washington, Oct 4, 2017 – An extensive upgrade of the webPOISONCONTROL® online tool and app lets users get fully-automated expert guidance for swallowed poisons, products splashed in the eye or on the skin, and inhaled substances, whether or not symptoms are present. webPOISONCONTROL, the first online triage tool for poison emergencies, provides case-specific recommendations for nearly 4000 poison exposures a month.

webPOISONCONTROL is a free, confidential, easy-to-use online tool that helps people determine whether a household product, medicine, or plant is dangerous. More than 63,000 people have safely used webPOISONCONTROL for online poison help. It takes just 3 minutes to enter the substance name, amount, age, weight, and symptoms. Users then receive a specific recommendation: it's safe to stay home; go immediately to the ER; or call Poison Control for further guidance. When it's safe to stay home, the app tells you what to do, then lists symptoms that are not of concern and symptoms that should trigger a call to Poison Control or an ER visit.

"Every day, nearly 6000 people call U.S. poison centers. Another 4000 to 9000 struggle with a poison exposure but don't call", says Toby Litovitz, MD, director of the project. "Some don't call because they don’t like talking on the phone or getting stuck in phone queues. Others are embarrassed, suspect they will be judged, don't have phone access, or don’t want to scare their children. Too many people just guess - resulting in needless ER visits for those who don’t need to see a doctor, and dire outcomes for those who stay home when they should have sought medical care."

Now you can choose how you get poison help. If you prefer the internet, try webPOISONCONTROL. If you'd rather talk to a person, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. Just don’t guess. To prepare for a poison emergency, try webPOISONCONTROL at or download the webPOISONCONTROL app on the App Store or on Google play.

webPOISONCONTROL is sponsored by the National Capital Poison Center and used by ten participating poison centers. Content is created by clinical toxicology experts. The simplicity of the app belies the more than 3300 complex algorithms used to analyze 52,000 products and 207,000 barcodes.

webPOISONCONTROL is funded by donations, including a generous Potomac Health Foundation grant. To contribute, donate online. To learn more, visit our Press Box or infographic

About NCPC

The National Capital Poison Center, founded in 1980, is an independent, not-for-profit organization and accredited poison center. Its nurse and pharmacist Certified Specialists in Poison Information and medical toxicologists provide 24/7 telephone guidance for poison emergencies, free of charge. Service focuses on the metro DC area with a national scope for projects such as webPOISONCONTROL, the National Battery Ingestion Hotline, and The Poison Post®. Learn more at About Us, Infographic, Press Box, and, and follow us on Twitter @webPOISONCTRL.     

pdf of webPOISONCONTROL Upgrade October 2017 press release

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