Canada Launches 1-844 POISON-X for Poison Info

Health Canada

March 20, 2023 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada

Each year in Canada, over 1,500 people lose their lives and nearly 8,000 are hospitalized due to unintentional poisoning from medications, cleaners, cannabis products, and many other household items. This National Poison Prevention Week, we encourage Canadians to take careful steps to keep their loved ones safe by learning how to store potential poisons safely to prevent unintentional poisoning, as well as what to do in case a poisoning occurs.

Unfortunately, while there are currently nine different phone numbers used to access the five poison centres in Canada, many Canadians don’t know the phone number for their local poison centre or even that the service is available. For this reason, Health Canada has launched a new toll-free number, 1-844 POISON-X, or 1-844-764-7669, in collaboration with four Canadian poison centres, to make it easier for people in Canada to access critical medical advice for poisonings. We encourage everyone to save this number in their phones, and to include it in their action plans in the event of a poisoning.

This new easy-to-remember toll-free number will help save lives while also adding a layer of resilience to our health care system by reducing unnecessary visits to hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. By calling this number, Canadians will now be re-routed to their local poison centre regardless of where they are calling from in the country. The current provincial numbers remain in service and Canadians can continue using them.

The launch of this toll-free number is made possible through Health Canada’s investment in the Canadian Surveillance System for Poison Information (CSSPI), which helps aggregate, analyze, and interpret pan-Canadian poison centre information in near real time to inform poison prevention and harm reduction activities.

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