The Oklahoma Poison Control Center exists to provide information concerning the prevention and management of potentially toxic exposures to the people of Oklahoma. The center's goal is to save lives as well as to provide a cost-effective service to patients and residents by promoting the appropriate use of health care resources.
The Oklahoma Poison Control Center was founded in the 1962. At that time, a small corner in a laboratory of the State Health Department was the location of the center. The center answered about 500 poison calls in 1962. In 1972, the center operations moved to the Pediatric Division of Maternal and Child Health Services of the Oklahoma State Health Department. The center received almost 10,000 calls that year, largely from the Oklahoma City area. In 1978, the Oklahoma Poison Control Center operations transferred to Children's Memorial Hospital. At this time the scope of service increased to cover the entire state with the addition of a toll-free telephone service. Along with their other duties, the pharmacy staff at Children's Hospital provided 24-hour coverage. Today, the center answers over 50,000 phone calls a year.
Legal recognition of the Oklahoma Poison Control Center did not occur until July 1994 when Oklahoma Poison Control Act was approved by the state legislature. This act also legislatively mandated that The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy administer all operations of the Oklahoma Poison Control Center in cooperation with The Children's Hospital of Oklahoma.
Emergency poison calls are answered 24-hours a day by pharmacists and nurses intensively trained in clinical toxicology and designated as specialist in poison information. Each poison specialist has access to a variety of resources, including a computer database, that list many products and their ingredients.
The Oklahoma Poison Control Center is a certified poison center as independently evaluated by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC).