Aims & Objectives

The main role of PCDI unit can be seen in:‎

  • Provision of information and advice concerning the diagnosis, ‎prognosis, treatment, and prevention of poisoning.‎
  • Providing pharmacological information related to drug dosages, ‎its adverse effects that may cause, drug interactions, and the ‎intravenous preparations.‎
  • Provision of information about the chemicals toxicity and the risks ‎they pose. ‎

Access to the information service is normally by telephone, especially in ‎an emergency, but there are several other communication channels, ‎including computer networks, written responses to enquiries, and ‎publications (Awareness bulletins).‎

Drugs are considered toxins if not used in the precisely defined  quantity ‎and  manner. So, the PCDI unit will solve this issue and work on ‎minimizing its risks.‎

Patient Management

PCDI unit provides appropriate up-to-date information and advice on the ‎diagnosis and treatment of poisoning cases.‎

PCDI unit is closely connected with facilities that provide care for ‎poisoned patients and for the medical staff to be involved in the treatment ‎of poisoning. This close association between poison information services ‎and poison treatment services:‎

  • Facilitates the necessary updating and expansion of information on ‎the diagnosis and treatment of poisoning cases, ‎
  • Encourages detailed follow-up of patients, and ‎
  • Stimulates essential research on human toxicology and patient ‎management.‎

Toxicovigilance is the substantial mission of PCDI unit by actively:‎

  • Identifying and evaluating the toxic risks existing in a community
  • Evaluating the measures taken to reduce or eliminate them. ‎

Analysis of enquiries received by the unit permits the identification of ‎those circumstances, populations, and possible toxic agents most likely to ‎be involved, as well as the detection of hidden dangers. ‎

The role of PCDI unit in Toxicovigilance is to alert the appropriate health ‎and other authorities so that the necessary preventive and regulatory ‎measures may be taken.‎

The PCDI unit can contribute in the prevention of poisoning by:‎

  • Alerting responsible authorities to circumstances where the risk of ‎poisoning is high.‎
  • Encouraging manufacturers to employ less toxic formulations and ‎to improve the packaging and labeling of their products.‎
  • Informing the general public, as well as special groups at risk, about ‎recognized or emerging risks to the community posed by the use, ‎transport, storage, and disposal of specific chemicals and natural ‎toxins, and giving guidance on how to avoid exposure to, or ‎accidents with, these substances; means such as brochures, leaflets, ‎posters, educational programs and media campaigns may be ‎employed.‎
  • Giving special warnings to professional health care workers ‎concerning specific toxic risks.‎

Drug information and Pharmacovigilance (PV)‎

PCDI Unit is naturally concerned with problems of adverse drug reactions ‎and side-effects, and may be contacted by physicians and the public for ‎advice on both drug overdose and the adverse effects of therapeutic doses. ‎

Enquiries may also relate to contraindications; for instance, whether a ‎drug should be prescribed in pregnancy or to a patient with a history of ‎hepatic or renal disease. PCDI Unit contributes to Pharmacovigilance ‎‎(PV) in collaboration with other institutions established for that purpose.‎

Part of PCDI unit’s tasks is to provide information relating to substances ‎of abuse and, when necessary, to be able to refer enquiries or patients to ‎institutions or authorities dealing with other aspects of substance abuse.‎

  • The unit knows how to recognize the signs and symptoms of ‎substance abuse, how to treat an overdose in an emergency, and how ‎to deal with withdrawal syndromes.‎
  • The unit also gives advice to the families and friends of substance ‎abusers on how to identify signs of intoxication and the substances ‎involved.‎

There is growing anxiety among the general public about the possible ‎deleterious effects on health of toxic chemicals found in food, in ‎consumer goods such as cosmetics, and in the environment (air, water, ‎and soil). ‎

PCDI Unit provides information on the effects of environmental ‎contaminants, on the risks associated with toxic wastes, and on safe levels ‎of chemicals in the environment and in food and other consumer goods.‎

PCDI Unit plays an important role in quantifying the relationship between ‎exposure to toxic chemicals and observed clinical features of poisoning, ‎including long-term effects on the human and other organisms. ‎

Thus, PCDI will coordinate with the responsible authorities to determine ‎allowed quantities of chemicals in the workplace, food, water, etc.‎

The Poison Control and Drug Information Unit (PCDI) can contribute in ‎the handling of major chemical incidents and disasters by providing ‎appropriate information in the event of an emergency and by taking an ‎active part in: contingency planning to be applied, and in education and ‎training to let everybody know how to act.‎

PCDI Unit is an effective information providing service and through the ‎unit’s closely cooperation with a wide range of partners.

But this hoped cooperation will only work if the concerned parties choose it ‎to succeed. Thus, this success will benefit our people and institutions. ‎
Therefore, PCDI calls and hopes of everyone participation to prevail the ‎benefit for all.  ‎

  • PCDI has the capability to establish cooperation with industrial and ‎commercial enterprises that manufacture, import, or handle ‎chemicals, various research institutions, and consumer organizations ‎and trade unions.‎
  • The Unit works on tightening its contacts in the Ministry of Health ‎‎(MoH) and the full range of health services and institutions, including ‎
    • ‎different hospital departments, ‎
    • general practitioners, ‎
    • pediatricians, ‎
    • pharmacists, ‎
    • coroners and medico-legal experts, ‎
    • occupational physicians, ‎
    • ‎epidemiologists, ‎
    • ‎experts in information technology, ‎
    • ‎scientific societies, ‎
    • Local and central health authorities. ‎
  • Besides, PCDI can keep in its continuous cooperation with other ‎government bodies, such as the Ministries of Agriculture, the ‎Environment, Labor, Industry, Trade, and Transport, and with ‎consumer protection agencies.‎
  • Good relationships with multimedia is valuable, since it has a key role ‎in bringing information to the public.‎

The PCDI Unit is closely associated with poison treatment services and ‎the involved medical staff in Poisoning treatment. This association has ‎

  • facilitated the necessary updating and expansion of information on ‎the diagnosis and treatment of local poisoning cases, ‎
  • encouraged detailed follow-up of patients, and ‎
  • stimulated essential research on human toxicology and patient ‎management.‎
  • Submitted the education and training services to the physicians, ‎pharmacists and nurses, concerning the subject of poisons, either ‎for students or practitioners for those professions after graduation.‎

The existence of “Toxicology and Suspicious Materials Laboratory” ‎at PCDI Unit provides toxicological analyses and biomedical ‎investigations which are essential for the diagnosis, assessment, and ‎treatment of certain types of poisoning. ‎

This analytical facility has also essential role in the identification, ‎characterization, and quantification of toxic substances in both ‎biological and non-biological samples. ‎

Thus, the resulting information from this lab and other diagnostic labs ‎in the different health facilities will be essential for detailed follow-‎up of patients, monitoring populations at risk from exposure to toxic ‎chemicals, and stimulation essential research on human toxicology ‎and patient management.‎

Scientific research is one of the basic tasks of PCDI because it is ‎considered the guarantee of continuous success.‎


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