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Case Studies in the Use of the National Poison Data System (NPDS)


The National Poison Data System (NPDS) is maintained and operated by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) for the analysis, visualization, and reporting of call data from all 61 regional poison centers (PCs) in cooperation with CDC's National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). NCEH collaborates with AAPCC toxicologists using NPDS to facilitate early recognition and monitoring of illness due to intentional or unintentional chemical or toxin exposures. NPDS algorithms identify statistically significant increases in callers' reported signs and symptoms - 131 clinical effects (CEs) such as rash and diarrhea - for detection of national poison exposure anomalies. Each day AAPCC toxicologists make decisions about NPDS anomalies' public health importance. Regional PCs are contacted as required for additional information about potentially important anomalies. NPDS also allows for individual case tracking through user-defined 'case-based definitions.' This additional method is especially useful during an outbreak when the agent and/or symptoms of affected persons are known.

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