Objectives: The objectives of this study were to assess the toxicology
telephone calls received by the Drug and Poison information Centre at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of 9 month data from the log
sheets at the Drug and Poisoning Information Centre (DPIC) of the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH). The data was then categorized
according to the various classes of poisoning as referenced in the Toxicology Handbook (Lexi-comp). Results: The results showed a total of 88 calls received and answered by the
Center over a 9 month period between Jan and Sept 2007. The highest numbers of poisoning cases were Drug (Medicine) Poisoning,
followed by Chemical and Household poisoning respectively. In the Drug poisoning group, ingestion of sedative drugs like
benzodiazepines was the most common type of poisoning, accounting for 21 % of the cases. Among the household poisons, Mortein (active
ingredient Allethrin) repellent preparations were at the top followed by Dettol® and house hold mercury thermometers respectively.
Thirty nine calls (44%) were recommended specific antidote treatments whereas forty calls (46%) were advised to administer
symptomatic relief options. Nine calls (10%) were found to be ‘not harmful’ and dealt with accordingly. Conclusions: The Center has been instrumental in identifying the symptoms
related to cases presented and thus provides the best available handling in the situation. The centre is providing a state of the art
service in terms of poisoning management in an efficient and timely manner.