Author(s): Bgevig S
INTRODUCTION: The Danish Poison Information Centre (DPIC) provides information to the public and health care professionals on acute poisonings. The DPIC received 41,000 enquiries during the first three years of its existence as an open 24h telephone service. The aim of this data register study was to classify all substance exposures, to gain knowledge of the status and trends in poisonings (toxico-surveillance) and to evaluate the development in the number of contacts. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Information and inquiries were continuously entered into a poison-centre database. A new classification system was established during the study to ensure that all agents were properly classified. A total of 41,139 calls were divided into 18 substance categories, each consisting of 3-11 subgroups. RESULTS: The number of contacts per year increased by 70% from 2007 to 2009. Three contacts per thousand individuals in the Danish population were registered in 2009. For all groups, except drugs of abuse, the data showed an increase in the actual number of exposures from 2008 to 2009. Pharmaceuticals represent one third of substance exposures, and analgesics constitute a third of these poisonings. A relative increase in contacts concerning household substances, plants and vitamins was observed. CONCLUSION: The classification gave detailed knowledge of the current poisoning status. Evaluation of subgroups showed a need for a larger number of subgroups to ensure a sufficient level of toxico-surveillance. Compared to other national poison centres, we predict a doubling in enquiries during the next ten years, mainly from the public.