The Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information (OCPDI) 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.
Originally founded in the 1962, the Oklahoma Poison Control Center operated out of a small corner in a laboratory at the Oklahoma State Health Department. The center answered about 500 poison calls in its first year. 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 metro area.
By 1978, the center's operations transferred to Children's Memorial Hospital. At that 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 to the poison helpline. Today, the center answers about 40,000 phone calls a year.
Legal recognition did not occur until July 1994 when the Oklahoma Poison Control Act was approved by the Oklahoma 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.
In 2013, in order to better reflect the range of services provided by the center, the name was officially changed to the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information. Emergency poison calls and poison-related questions are answered 24-hours a day by pharmacists and nurses trained in clinical toxicology. Each poison specialist has access to a variety of resources, including a computer database that list a huge array of products and their ingredients.
Today, the center answers about 40,000 phone calls a year. By managing nearly 90% of human exposure calls at home, we saved Oklahomans approximately $15 million dollars in 2016.
The OCPDI is a nationally certified poison center as independently evaluated by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC).