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Journal Article


Mrvos R, Dean BS, Krenzelok EP. Vet. Hum. Toxico. 1988; 30(2): 138-140.


Pittsburgh Poison Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, PA.


(Copyright © 1988, American College of Veterinary Toxicologists)






Over 30 major chemical accidents have occurred in the tri-state area during the last decade. A recent incident involved a train which was carrying at least 5 toxic chemicals and was derailed in a heavily populated area causing 20,000 residents to be evacuated from their homes twice in 24 hr. In a 30-hr period over 900 calls were received at the poison center and approximately 80 people were examined at local health care facilities and treated for symptoms of toxic fume inhalation. This incident prompted the poison center to evaluate our emergency response capabilities. A strategy was developed to enable the poison center to deal with an increased call volume rapidly and effectively. Our Emergency Response Plan includes a chain of command for notification in the event of an anticipated increase in call volume; delineated responsibilities for medical, administrative, and professional staff members; designation of phone lines for incoming and outgoing calls; and a means of documenting both poison exposures and inquiries regarding the chemicals. So that staff members may report to the center without delay, child care provisions are also included. The development of the Emergency Response Plan, potential applications, and a synopsis of the aforementioned chemical spill will be discussed in detail.

Language: en


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