[Skip to Content]
Group of poison center staff

About the Poison Center

365 days a year, 24/7.

We are available to both health care professionals and the general public at 1-800-222-1222.

What is the Upstate New York Poison Center?

The number to call with a poison emergency or for poison prevention information with:

  • Poison emergency telephone management
  • Poison information resources
  • Public Education
  • Professional Education
  • Research and data collection
  • Toxicosurveillance in real-time

What To Do If A Poisoning Happens?

  • Take the product to the phone (Take the child if s/he is the patient)
  • Call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222

  • A Poison Information Specialist will ask you some questions, including:
    • Your name and phone number
    • The age and weight of the patient
    • Name on the container of the product
    • Amount involved
    • Time of poisoning
    • Any symptoms
  • The poison center will tell you what to do next

Who Will Answer My Call?

Every caller receives professional expert service:

  • Calls are answered by Certified Specialists in Poison Information (CSPIs), registered nurses and pharmacists trained in toxicology
  • Specialists provide the most efficient and up-to-date poison information available
  • Physicians and toxicologists are on-call 24 hours a day for consultation purposes
  • Other specialists are available for consultation

What to Expect?

After careful listening, the Poison Specialist will generally tell you one of the following:

  • This is not a problem, there is no need for medical care
    (e.g., A child ate some silica gel crystals found in a shoe box)
  • The history you provided requires the patient to be observed for some time to be sure s/he will be okay (Our Certified Specialist in Poison Information will call back to check on the patient and no medical care is expected)
  • Based on the history provided, a trip to a physician or health care facility is necessary
    (Our Certified Specialist in Poison Information can arrange for emergency transport if the caller agrees)

How Do We Help?

Each year our center manages more than 50,000 calls from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools, and the general public in our 54-county service area. Of these calls:

  • 39% involve children under age 5
  • 68% of calls are managed at home
  • 79% of our calls are for unintentional poisoning
  • 95% of people who call our poison center from a residence can be managed at home and do not need to go to a health care facility.

Why Centralized Service?

Poison centers save money while saving lives. The American Association of Poison Control Centers found:

  • Return on investment for every dollar spent in the Poison Center System = $13.39
  • The annual total medical cost savings attributed to poison centers = $1,800,000,000
  • A 1% increase in calls equals a .28% decrease in ER visits, saving $81 million annually

We're only a phone call away: 1-800-222-1222!