Toxicology

Strategic Leader: Roy Purssell

Vision
To significantly reduce morbidity and mortality due to poisoning and drug overdose in British Columbia through research, education and knowledge translation

Long Term Goals

  • To implement a surveillance program that will allow us to continuously evaluate morbidity and mortality due to poisoning and drug overdose in British Columbia
  • To implement a system so that the effectiveness of public health, harm reduction, injury prevention, education and knowledge translation programs to address the problem of poisoning and drug overdose can be continuously evaluated
  • To create better practices for care of poisoning and drug overdose patients
  • To coordinate a comprehensive continuous professional development program in toxicology for emergency physicians

Short Term Goals

  • To evaluate to incidence of poisoning and drug overdose in British Columbia
  • To determine the economic burden of poisoning and drug overdose in British Columbia
  • To define best practices for care of poisoning and drug overdose patients
  • To develop a curriculum in toxicology for emergency medicine trainees

Key Partners and Stakeholders

  • BC Drug and Poison Information Centre
  • BC Centre for Disease Control
  • BC Injury Prevention and Research Unit

Work to Date

  • The fifth edition of the Poison Management Manual has been completed and published. The Poison Management Manual is a compilation of monographs on the toxicity, clinical effects and treatment of frequently encountered poison exposures and poison or drug overdoses commonly associated with a poor outcome. The format of each treatment monograph includes information on toxicity, pharmacokinetics, relevant case reports, clinical effects, and treatment guidelines. The antidote monographs feature a review of the efficacy of each drug, indications for use, information on the incidence and nature of reported side effects, and dosing and administration guidelines. The pharmacy, nursing and medical staff at the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre serve as editors, writers and reviewers. The print version is two volumes and 828 pages.
  • A textbook chapter on prevention of poison injury has been completed.
  • An assessment of the potential of Canadian Poison Control Centres for public health surveillance has been completed and published in a high profile toxicology journal.
  • A report on fatalities due to exposure to paramethoxymethamphetamine has been completed and published in a high profile general journal
  • The genetic determinants of agranulocytosis associated with levamisole-adulterated cocaine has been determined and this information has been published in an academic journal