About the Blue Ridge Poison Center
Who are we?
The Blue Ridge Poison Center (BRPC) is staffed by nurses and doctors specially trained to handle all sorts of poisonings: from medicines, plants, household products, industrial chemicals, snake bites, carbon monoxide, and more.
Our experts are available by phone for immediate, confidential, and FREE treatment advice 24 hours a day, every single day. We also answer questions about poison safety, including questions about the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
The BRPC also has public health educators on staff who teach poisoning prevention to people of all ages, and medical toxicologists who perform research and teach other healthcare providers about managing poisoned patients. Meet our staff.
In 2010, the BRPC was awarded recertification as a Regional Poison Center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. This certification lasts for 5 years.
Click here to learn more about our funding, and how you can help the Blue Ridge Poison Center.
Who Calls the poison center?
The BRPC handles calls from the general public, worried parents, schools, senior care providers, workplaces, police, pharmacists, fire and rescue personnel, and even doctors and nurses who need our expert advice in treating poisoned patients at their own facilities.
Our poison center serves over 2.4 million people and 45 hospitals within Southwest Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, and part of Southside Virginia. (see our territory). Each year, our specialists handle an average of 58,000 calls. A call can last anywhere from a few seconds to over 20 minutes. Check our our call statistics from 2014.
Why Call the poison center?
Calling our toll-free hotline gives you immediate access to doctors and nurses who are experts in treating poisoned patients. Our experts are standing by to help 24 hours a day, every single day. Most of the time, callers can be guided to treat their poisoning at home, avoiding a costly trip to the doctor. We estimate this saved Virginians millions of dollars in unnecessary medical bills each year! Don't wait for someone to look or feel sick; call right away if someone:
- swallowed something they shouldn't have swallowed.
- made a medicine mistake (took or gave too much, or the wrong product).
- got something harmful in the eyes, on the skin, or breathed in something harmful.
(NOTE: If someone is not breathing, or won't wake up, call 9-1-1 right away)
A Day in the Life of the BRPC
Want to know more about who calls us and why? Read: A Day In The Life of The Blue Ridge Poison Center.