oa South African Medical Journal - Toxicovigilance : experience of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre in context - : editorial

Volume 103, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Poison information centres are confronted daily by reports of, and requests for, support after alleged exposures to various types of toxins. These emanate from healthcare professionals, veterinarians, members of the public, farmers, scientists and activists, most of whom believe their own diagnosis to be correct. Based on their diagnoses, often erroneous, such individuals often prescribe or administer a range of treatments, many of which are incorrect. Furthermore, people who may not have been exposed to a clinically significant dose of toxins, or in fact any toxins at all, often unjustifiably fear for their health or lives as a result of alarmist statements by activists.

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