The National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) recently held a two-day Continuing Professional Development event in Cardiff. Staff from all four UK NPIS units (Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle) attended, as well as colleagues from the UK Health Security Agency (UK HSA) and the Welsh Emerging Drugs and Identification of Novel Substances (WEDINOS) drug testing service. Both days were live-streamed to NPIS colleagues across the UK who were unable to attend in-person.
On day one the program included presentations of interesting case reports of poisoning including hydrogen sulphide poisoning, domestic cleaner inhalation, caffeine overdose, chlorpyrifos ingestion, chloral hydrate overdose and adder bites. In addition, there were presentations to demonstrate the work of UKHSA in chemicals, environmental hazards and public health, and also a review of the findings of the most recent WEDINOS analysis. The day finished with an engaging interactive poisons-based quiz, hosted by NPIS Cardiff.
Day two consisted of more excellent presentations on herbal medicines, health supplement overdose, a review of metformin enquiries, an update on national methotrexate and digoxin studies. A debate, led by medical toxicology consultants from NPIS Cardiff and NPIS Edinburgh, discussed the role and efficacy of oximes in treatment of organophosphate poisoning. Following the fantastic variety of clinical presentations, there was also an update on the BT Cloud phone system that the NPIS uses to take poisons enquiries, and a meeting to discuss updates to the UK Poisons Information Database (UKPID), to support NPIS documentation of poisons enquiries as accurately and efficiently as possible.
The event was a great success and an excellent opportunity for NPIS staff and other attendees from across the UK to meet, learn and network. The discussions and presentations contributed to staff knowledge and understanding of current and emerging trends in toxicology. Ongoing collaboration facilitates the consistency and quality of advice provided by the NPIS.