Delay among the general public in telephoning a poison center.
McKnight RH; Dawson SK; Westneat SC; Rodgers GC Jr.; Ross MP
Vet Hum Toxicol 1996 Apr; 38(2):92-95
Characteristics associated with delays in contacting a poison control center were examined in this study. Information concerning green tobacco sickness (GTS) among agricultural workers was obtained from the Kentucky Regional Poison Center (KRPC). Several weeks after an incident of GTS was reported, a follow up questionnaire was administered to the patient and the individual who placed the call. A poison report was considered delayed if the caller indicated that he or she regretted not calling sooner. Of the 82 GTS cases reported to the KRPC between July and October of 1993, 55 cases were analyzed. Thirty seven of the callers were family members of the sick worker and 40 were women. Of the 55 callers, 38.2% indicated that they should have called sooner, for such reasons as the alleviation of symptoms, earlier diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. Individuals who knew that the KRPC provided help to cases of agricultural poisoning were significantly more likely to call the center without delay than those individuals who were unaware of the KRPC's specific resources. Delayed calls were not related to the relationship of the caller to the patient, the person who suggested calling, the gender of the caller, awareness of the KRPC in general, or past experience with reporting a poisoning. Delayed reports were significantly more common for female patients and older patients than for males and younger patients. The authors recommend that poison centers improve communication with the general public concerning available resources.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Humans; Health-services; Occupational-exposure; Agricultural-workers; Poison-control; Medical-treatment; Clinical-symptoms
Veterinary and Human Toxicology
University of Kentucky, Department of Preventive Medicine, Lexington, KY