Poison helpline sees surge in queries related to hand sanitiser

The National Poisons Information Centre saw a five-fold increase in calls concerning hand sanitisers in 2020 compared to 2019
Poison helpline sees surge in queries related to hand sanitiser

The National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC) saw a surge in calls related to hand sanitiser last year.

The centre's annual report for 2020 highlights a five-fold increase in calls concerning hand sanitisers from March to July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 (21 calls in 2019 compared to 134 in 2020).

The NPIC is responsible for providing information to healthcare professionals, to assist them in the management of acute poisoning. The centre also runs the Public Poisons Information Line for members of the public who are concerned about accidental poisoning.

March 2020 was the busiest month of the year for the centre with over 1100 queries.

The report identifies paracetamol and ibuprofen as the medicines most commonly associated with queries to the centre in 2020. Disinfectant, antiseptics, and hand sanitisers were the fourth most common agents identified with a total of 608 queries received.

Approximately 67 per cent of queries in 2020 involved children and adolescents, with those aged between one and four accounting for 45 per cent of all queries.

The annual report is based on data collected from enquiries to the NPIC from members of the public, healthcare professionals and others.

Dr Edel Duggan, clinical director of the NPIC, said 2020 was “a challenging year” for staff. “With the emergence of Covid-19 in March we saw a major increase in queries particularly related to hand sanitiser and other products designed to protect us all from infection.

“As we have all continued to spend more time at home throughout 2021, we all need to be aware of the household products which could affect children, especially younger children who may not recognise the danger of these products.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more