2017 Annual Report of the University of Kansas Health System Poison Control Center


  • Lisa K Oller
  • Stephen L Thornton




drug overdose, poisoning, ingestion, toxicology, antidotes



This is the 2017 Annual Report of the University of Kansas Health System Poison Control Center (PCC). The PCC is one of 55 certified poison control centers in the United States and serves the state of Kansas 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. The PCC receives calls from the public, law enforcement, health care professionals, and public health agencies, which are answered by trained and certified specialists in poison information with the immediate availability of medical toxicology back up. All calls to the PCC are recorded electronically in the Toxicall® data management system and uploaded in near real-time to the National Poison Data System (NPDS), which is the data repository for all poison control centers in the United States.


All encounters reported to the PCC from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 were analyzed. Data recorded for each exposure included caller location, age, weight, gender, substance exposed to, nature of exposure, route of exposure, interventions, medical outcome, disposition and location of care. Encounters were classified further as human exposure, animal exposure, confirmed non-exposure, or information call (no exposure reported).


The PCC logged 21,431 total encounters in 2017, including 20,278 human exposure cases. Cases came from every county in Kansas. Most of the human exposure cases (51.4%, n = 10,430) were female. Approximately 66% (n = 13,418) of human exposures involved a child (defined as age less than 20 years). Most encounters occurred at a residence (94.0%, n = 19,018) and most calls (69.5%, n = 14,090) originated from a residence. Almost all human exposures (n = 19,823) were acute cases (exposures occurring over eight hours or less). Ingestion was the most common route of exposure documented (80.5%, n = 17,466). The most common reported substance in pediatric encounters was cosmetics/personal care products (n = 1,255), followed by household cleaning products (n = 1,251). For adult encounters, analgesics (n = 1,160) and sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics (n = 1,127) were the most frequently involved substances. Unintentional exposures were the most common reason for exposures (78.6%, n = 15,947). Most encounters (69.4%, n = 14,073) were managed in a non-health care facility (i.e., a residence). Among human exposures, 14,940 involved exposures to pharmaceutical agents, while 9,896 involved exposure to non-pharmaceuticals. Medical outcomes were 28% (n = 5,741) no effect, 18% (n = 3,693) minor effect, 9% (n = 1,739) moderate effect, and 2% (n = 431) major effect. There were 16 deaths in 2017 reported to the PCC. Number of exposures, calls from health care facilities, cases with moderate or major medical outcomes, and deaths increased in 2017 compared to 2016, despite a decrease in total exposures.


The results of the 2017 University of Kansas Health System Poison Control annual report demonstrated that the center continues to receive calls from the entire state of Kansas, totaling over 20,000 human exposures per year. While pediatric exposures remain the most common, a trend of increasing number of calls remains from health care facilities and for cases with serious outcomes. The 2017 PCC data reflected current national trends. This report demonstrated the continued importance of the PCC to both the public and health care providers in the state of Kansas.




How to Cite

Oller, L. K., & Thornton, S. L. (2019). 2017 Annual Report of the University of Kansas Health System Poison Control Center. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 12(3), 70–79. https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.v12i3.11796



Original Research