What does the NPC do?

The National Poisons Centre is New Zealand's only poison and hazardous chemicals information centre and runs a 24-hour 7-day toll free emergency telephone service. The Centre currently answers around 30,000 telephone enquires each year, as well as many more enquiries through information provided on our TOXINZ website.

The main role of the National Poisons Centre is to provide advice to members of the public and health care professionals about acute poisoning situations. This can involve:

  • Medicines
  • Chemicals
  • Hazardous creatures (e.g. spiders, snakes, jellyfish)
  • Plants and fungi

The NPC gives advice on what to do in situations of poisoning or where poisoning might occur. This includes:

  • If someone has swallowed, inhaled or injected a substance
  • If someone has got a substance in their eye(s) or on their skin
  • If someone has been bitten or stung by a hazardous creature
  • Advice on preventing poisonings in the home
  • General first aid advice for poisonings

We also :

  • Maintain an internet database on chemicals, medicines, plants and animals
  • Provide prevention information packs to parents, schools and other organizations
  • Monitor poisoning statistics to identify targeted prevention strategies

Contact your regional Poisons Information Center to find out what kind of advice they provide.

Find other Poisons Centres throughout the world

University of Otago NZ National Poisons Centre

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