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Poison controls centers report increase in serious cases

January 8, 2014

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Alexandria, VA – More people are suffering serious outcomes related to poison exposure, according to the 2012 annual report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

The report is based on data from the National Poison Data System, which records information about every poison case handled by the country’s 57 poison centers.

Painkillers were the most common substances linked to poisonings (12 percent), followed by cosmetics/personal care products (8 percent), household cleaning substances (7 percent), sedatives/hypnotics and antipsychotics (6 percent) and toys/miscellaneous (4 percent).

Cases resulting in major outcomes including death have increased by 4.6 percent since 2000, the report states. In 2012, 2,937 human exposures resulting in death were documented. Deaths most often were caused by sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics, along with cardiovascular drugs, opioids, acetaminophen combinations and street drugs.

The report was published in the December issue of Clinical Toxicology.