van Gorcum TF, van Velzen AG, Brekelmans PJAM, van Riel AJHP, Meulenbelt J, de Vries I
RIVM Report 660100002
In 2007, the National Poisons Information Centre (NVIC) was consulted 37,623 times by telephone about acute intoxications. The enquiries concerned more than 50,000 exposures of humans or animals to toxic substances. Most enquiries were made by general practitioners. There were 502 incidents in which two or more humans or animals were exposed simultaneously. These incidents included some accidents with exposure of a large number of people. In addition to information being available by telephone, since April 2007 toxicological information is available for physicians via the website Vergiftigingen.info. Using this secured website, physicians can perform risk analyses by themselves in the event of an acute intoxication. In 2007, nearly 7,900 intoxications were analysed using Vergiftigingen.info. The website was used especially by physicians from emergency wards and other hospital wards. Both for children and for adults, the number of intoxications due to painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, remains alarmingly high. Overdosing of vitamins in children continues to occur frequently, although the number of enquiries about vitamin AD decreased in 2007. The drugs of abuse most often involved in reported intoxications were XTC, cocaine and GHB. Ingestion of cigarette ends by young children was frequently reported as well. Oral intake of nicotine cartridges from electronic cigarettes, or prolonged smoking of electronic cigarettes, may lead to serious toxic effects. The number of intoxications in teenagers due to alcoholic drinks continues to increase. In 2007, the NVIC was consulted about more than 3,100 intoxicated animals, especially cats and dogs, concerning 3,666 exposures of these animals to toxic substances. Pesticides and medicines caused more than half of the total number of intoxications in animals. In 2007, the NVIC, together with the Netherlands Vaccin Institute, made preparations for the set up of the National Serum Depot. In this depot, antisera will be stored for the treatment of bites and stings by poisonous animals.