Information for Health Care Professionals



Patients with accidental or deliberate overdoses of drugs, acute medical problems due to toxic chemical exposures, or adverse drug reaction may be transferred to Vanderbilt hospital to receive toxicology evaluation and expertise. The majority of overdose patients require admission to the Medical Intensive Care Unit. Physicians who wish to refer patients requiring toxicological evaluation may do so either through Tennessee Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) or the transfer center.


Patients with work related exposures, environmental exposures, and envenomation are seen in the out-patient clinic. Physician referral is required. Appointments may be made by calling Tennessee Poison Center (615-936-0760).

The American College of Medical Toxicology has established criteria for Regional Poison Treatment Centers. These hospitals have qualified and available personnel, laboratory capabilities, and intensive care facilities able to treat all life-threatening poisoning emergencies. These requirements are similar to hospitals that are designated as trauma centers for trauma patients. Because of Tennessee Poison Center, Analytic Laboratory Services, and Intensive Care Facilities, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is the only such center in Tennessee.