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By: Apoorva Kommajosula, Trauma Program and Safe Kids Intern

On June 1st, Safe Kids Georgia had the pleasure of visiting and touring the Georgia Poison Center (GPC) and held their coalition meeting at the Hurt building in Downtown Atlanta.

Dr. Gaylord Lopez, Director of GPC, led the tour and began by sharing the history of the poison center. The center is a sector of the Grady Health System which is supervised by Emory University School of Medicine and related to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Additionally, GPC went through a dramatic change from being a lower ranking center to a higher ranking and busiest center. They have the most call volume not just in the United States, but also beyond the national borders.

The poison center has call centers that are staffed with health professionals, certified poison information specialists, and toxicologists. By having qualified staff on-call to support approximately 300-400 calls daily, the GPC is able to provide 24-hour quality services to Georgia residents and health professionals. GPC plays a significant role in poison prevention, clinical toxicology, first-aid, diagnosis, and further care for individuals.

Dr. Lopez described the GPC as a non-traditional poison center, as it has expanded in terms of deliverables. There is a focus on studies about rabies, H1N1, Ebola, Zika, and even natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. The poison center has evolved over the years to include a stroke call center and a public health call center. The tour was concluded by Dr. Lopez discussing certification opportunities for health professionals to learn about poison safety through free online training.

To learn more about the Georgia Poison Center visit their website: https://www.georgiapoisoncenter.org/

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