Hondebrink, L.; Zammit, M.; Hogberg, L.C.G.; Hermanns-Clausen, M.; Lonati, D.; Faber, K.; Arif, T.; Babić, Ž.; Bacis, G.; Bathić, L.; Bates, N.; Brvar, M.; Burbiene, E.; Cagánová, B.; Casey, P.; Delcourt, N.; Descamps, A.M.; Descatha, A.; Eagling, V.; Eyer, F.; Gambassi, F.; Gray, L.; Japgal, P.; Jovic-Stosic, J.; Labadie, M.; Lilius, T.; Líndal, H.; Locatelli, C.A.; Midtervoll, M.; Nisse, P.; Palmqyist, D.F.; Patat, A.M.; Pereska, Z.; Puskarczyk, E.; Ricci, G.; Salierno, A.; Simon, N.; Tellerup, M.; Thanacoody, R.; van Velzen, A.; Vodovar, D. (2022): Effect of the first wave of COVID-19 on Poison Control Centre activities in 21 European countries: an EAPCCT initiative. Clinical Toxicology, 60 (10). pp. 1145-1155.

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Official URL (please open in a new browser tab/window): https://doi.org/10.1080/15563650.2022.2113094


BACKGROUND: Public health emergencies often affect Poison Control Centre (PCC) operations. We examined possible effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on call volume, call characteristics, and workload in European PCCs. *** METHOD: All 65 individual European PCCs were requested to supply data on the number of calls and call characteristics (caller, age groups, reason and specific exposures) from March to June in 2018, 2019, and 2020 (Part 1). Number of calls with specific characteristics was normalised to all calls. Calls (N) and call characteristics (%) were compared between 2020 and 2018/2019 (average), within PCCs/countries and grouped. Correlation between call volume and COVID-19 cases per PCC/country was examined. All PCCs received a survey on workload (Part 2). Parts 1 and 2 were independent. *** RESULTS: For Part 1, 36 PCCs (21 countries) supplied 26 datasheets. PCCs in the UK and in France merged data and supplied one datasheet each with national data. Summed data showed an increase of 4.5% in call volume from 228.794 in 2018/2019 (average) to 239.170 in 2020 (p < 0.001). Within PCCs/countries, calls significantly increased for 54% of PCCs/countries (N = 14/26) and decreased for 19% (N = 5/26), three of which (N = 3/5) only serve medical professionals. Correlation between call volume and COVID-19 cases was (non-significant) positive (Rho >0.7) in 5/26 PCCs/countries (19%), and negative in 6/26 (23%). Call characteristics (median proportion of grouped data in 2018/2019 vs. 2020) changed: fewer medical professionals called (40 vs. 34%, p < 0.001), calls on intentional exposures decreased (20 vs. 17%, p < 0.012), as did calls on patients between 13 and 17 years (5 vs. 4%, p < 0.05). Calls on specific exposures increased; disinfectants from 1.9 to 5.2%, and cleaning products from 4.4 to 5.7% (p < 0.001). For Part 2, 38 PCCs (24 countries) filled the survey on workload (number/length of shifts and time on PCC duties), which increased in 23/38 PCCs (61%), while 10/38 (26%) worked with fewer employees. ***CONCLUSIONS: Obtaining aggregated European PCC data proved challenging but showed an increase in overall call volume and workload during the first COVID-19 wave. Call characteristics changed including fewer calls from professionals and more calls on specific exposures. Within single PCCs/countries a variety of effects was observed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: OEBIG > Vergiftungsinformationszentrale
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 11:33
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2023 11:33
URI: https://jasmin.goeg.at/id/eprint/2666