Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the purpose of a poison center?
    Tennessee Poison Center saves lives and saves money. We save lives by providing emergency treatment advice to everyone in Tennessee. We answer calls from a parent whose toddler drank a household cleaner, from an emergency physician who calls for treatment advice for an overdose patient and to everyone who might have a poison emergency or information call. Tennessee Poison Center saves money by managing 70% of its cases at home, rather than in an emergency room or physician's office. For every $1 that is spent on a call to Tennessee Poison Center, $14 is saved in other medical care spending.
  • Is there more than one Poison Center in Tennessee?
    No. Tennessee Poison Center, located in Nashville, is the only poison center in the state. Tennessee Poison Center is certified as the statewide poison control center by the Tennessee Department of Health.
  • Does Tennessee Poison Center offer materials in any language other than English? Yes. Tennessee Poison Center has poison prevention materials available in several languages. Call 615-936-0760 for additional information.
  • Can I call Tennessee Poison Center if I just have a question, not a poison emergency?
    Yes! Tennessee Poison Center handles thousands of poison information calls each year.
  • What does a person look like when he/she is poisoned?
    A poison victim may not look or act sick. If you think someone has been poisoned, call Tennessee Poison Center (1-800-222-1222). Never wait to see if there are symptoms.
  • What is the most common poison?
    There is not one poison that is the most common. The most common substances for Tennessee Poison Center are:
           Analgesics (Pain Relievers)
           Household Cleaning Products
           Cosmetics/Personal Care Products
           Cardiovascular Drugs
  • How does Tennessee Poison Center help with homeland security?
    Tennessee Poison Center is an integral part of our state's disaster planning. TPC is the only organization in Tennessee that provides surveillance for chemical or biological terrorism. Every few minutes data from Tennessee Poison Center is sent to Washington, DC to monitor for potential bioterrorism.