Our Programs

Tennessee Poison Center saves lives and helps reduce your healthcare costs through these programs:

  • A medical telephone hotline (Poison Help 1-800-222-1222 ) for poison emergency and information calls. Poison specialists, who are registered nurses, pharmacists and physicians, answer the telephone hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These poison specialists give first aid treatment advice or hospital referral and answer poison questions. Two board certified toxicologists provide medical back-up 24/7. All Tennessee calls to the Poison Help hotline will be answered by the poison specialists at Tennessee Poison Center (TPC). Currently, our poison specialists answer approximately 200 calls each day and Tennessee Poison Center is the 6th busiest poison control center in the U.S.
  • Poison prevention education programs Anyone can be a poison victim. Most poisonings involve everyday household items and more than 70% of poison exposures occur in the home. Poison education outreach reaches every county through a partnership with the University of Tennessee  Extension Educators. This partnership won a 2005 Frist Foundation Award of Achievement in Team Building. In 2015, Tennessee Poison Center distributed over 323,000 pieces of poison control literature to Tennessee residents. 
  • Statewide surveillance for chemical and biological terrorism Tennessee Poison Center is an integral part of Tennessee’s homeland security program. Data from Tennessee Poison Center is sent to Washington, D.C. as part of the nationwide surveillance for bioterrorism. No other organization in Tennessee provides statewide surveillance for a chemical or biological terrorist incident.

These programs are provided free of charge to Tennessee residents. Tennessee Poison Center receives funding from the state of Tennessee, federal government, institutional funding from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, hospitals that use our services, United Way agencies in 15 counties, foundations and individual donations.


This page was last updated March 9, 2016 and is maintained by