Carbon monoxide poisoning is reportable by law whereby laboratories are required to report incidents in which a patient’s carboxyhemoglobin level meets or exceeds 9% Reported cases are then entered into the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning database. The database was initiated in October of 1997 and approximately 50 cases are reported annually. This database collects the following demographics: name, age, race, ethnicity, gender, date of birth, address and occupation. The database is used to assess level of CO concentration and use of CO detectors. The data is available to the public via a written request to the principal investigator; no patient identifiers are provided.
CT Poison Control Center (CPCC)’s database Toxicall ®. Toxicall generates data as individual patient phone calls are received. The data include patient demographics (age, gender, and telephone number), exposures, and medical histories (underlying medical conditions, past prescription and over-the-counter drug use and general health). In addition, the database contains hospital poisoning admissions as all CT hospitals are required by law to report to the Poison Information Center each incident of a treated accidental poisoning.
The database includes the following: patient name, gender, age, zip code (occasional address) and the name of the recorder. Possible limitation is that data… “may be coded somewhat variably by the poison specialists who are entering data, initial contact usually from home or ED where information may not be certain or still unfolding.” The database is used to assess drug abuse trends, bioterrorism threats and report human poisoning statistics. Approximately 36,000 cases are reported annually. National trend data is available to the public by written request; CT specific data may require Association approval and must follow HIPAA guidelines.
CPCC’s data are uploaded in real time to the National Toxic Exposure Surveillance System, in which data are monitored for circumstances such as multiple patients reporting similar toxic clinical effects, which may indicate a sentinel event or trend in exposures.