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Sidra Medicine’s clinical toxicology service is playing a crucial role in reducing unnecessary visits to emergency departments (ER).
As a clinical toxicology service, the Qatar Poison Center is a free helpline service by Sidra Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine.
The helpline provides poison management advice to the public in addition to addressing inquiries regarding poisoning and offering treatment advice. The Qatar Poison Center helps reducing unnecessary visits to the emergency department.
“Callers will receive expert and timely poisoning management advice over the phone from pharmacists and physicians who have all been trained in clinical toxicology. Based on the level of exposure, we can advise them whether to call emergency services or if it can be monitored at home,” Dr. Leena Amine, Manager of the Qatar Poison Center, told The Peninsula.
The helpline recorded over 2,000 calls in 2021, as per its latest Annual Report.
The centre’s services are free and confidential. Dr. Amine said the centre also supports doctors and nurses who call from other hospitals and medical facilities.
“Our team can help with questions about exposure to or poisoning with household products; chemicals at work or in the environment; drugs either prescribed or bought over-the-counter, herbal medicines, or illegal substances; gases and fumes; snake bites including sea snakes and stone fish envenomation; spider bites or scorpion stings.
"For example, in winter during camping season we field calls related to scorpion stings and offer guidelines to help the caller take the right course of action until they get to the ER,” said Dr. Amine.
The QPC helpline is open to public and hospitals. It accepts calls in English and Arabic on 40031111 from 9am to 1am, seven days a week.