S-3089.1          _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 6031



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1992 Regular Session


By Senators West, Johnson and Wojahn


Read first time 01/13/92.  Referred to Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care.Modifying poison information center authority.

     AN ACT Relating to poison information centers; amending RCW 18.76.010, 18.76.030, and 18.76.060; adding new sections to chapter 18.76 RCW; and repealing RCW 18.76.040.




     Sec. 1.  RCW 18.76.010 and 1987 c 214 s 16 are each amended to read as follows:

     The legislature finds that accidental and purposeful exposure to drugs, poisons, and ((poisonous)) toxic substances continues to be a severe health problem in the state of Washington.  It further finds that a significant reduction in the consequences of such accidental exposures ((have)) has occurred as a result of the services provided by poison information centers, and that, by further enhancing these services for occupational, industrial, and environmental exposures, serious illness and injury can be even further reduced.

     The purpose of this chapter is to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with overdose and poisoning incidents by providing emergency telephone assistance and treatment referral to victims of such incidents, by providing immediate treatment information to health care professionals, and public education and prevention programs.  Further, the purpose is to improve utilization of drugs by providing information to health professionals relating to appropriate therapeutic drug use.

     The legislature recognizes that enhanced cooperation between the emergency medical system and poison control centers will aid in responding to emergencies resulting from exposure to drugs, poisons, and ((poisonous)) toxic substances, and that, by providing telephone assistance to individuals with possible exposure to these chemicals, the need for emergency room and professional office visits will be reduced.  As a result the cost of health care to those who may have exposures to drugs, poisons, and toxic substances will be decreased and appropriate treatment will be assured.


     Sec. 2.  RCW 18.76.030 and 1987 c 214 s 17 are each amended to read as follows:

     The department shall, in a manner consistent with this chapter, provide support for the state-wide program of poison and drug information services ((conducted by poison information centers located in the cities of Seattle and Spokane and satellite units located in the cities of Tacoma and Yakima)).  These services shall, no later than June 30, 1993, be centralized in and coordinated by a single nonprofit center to be located in a place determined by the secretary.  The services of this ((program)) center shall be:

     (1) Twenty-four hour emergency telephone management and treatment referral of victims of poisoning and overdose incidents, to include determining whether treatment can be accomplished at the scene of the incident or transport to an emergency treatment or other facility is required, and carrying out telephone follow-up to assure that adequate care is provided;

     (2) Providing information to health professionals involved in management of poisoning and overdose victims;

     (3) Community education programs designed to inform the public and members of the health professions of poison prevention and treatment methods((; and

     (4) Information to health professionals regarding appropriate therapeutic use of medications, their compatibility and stability, and adverse drug reactions and interactions)) and to improve awareness of poisoning and overdose problems, occupational risks, and environmental exposures; and

     (4) Coordination of outreach units whose primary functions shall be to inform the public about poison problems and prevention methods, how to utilize the poison center, and  other toxicology issues.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 18.76 RCW to read as follows:

     The department shall establish a system for consulting with other state agency programs concerned with poisons and poisonings, incidents involving exposures to potentially poisonous substances, and other toxicological matters to develop the most coordinated and consistent response to such situations as is reasonably possible.


     Sec. 4.  RCW 18.76.060 and 1987 c 214 s 21 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) A person may not act as a poison center medical director or perform the duties of poison information specialists of a poison information center without being certified by the secretary under this chapter.

     (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if a poison center medical director terminates certification or is decertified, that poison center medical director's authority may be delegated by the department to any other person licensed to practice medicine and surgery under chapter 18.71 RCW or osteopathy and surgery under chapter 18.57 RCW for a period of thirty days, or until a new poison center medical director is certified, whichever comes first.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  A new section is added to chapter 18.76 RCW to read as follows:

     The center may receive gifts, grants, and endowments from public or private sources that may be made from time to time, in trust or otherwise, for the use and benefit of the purposes of the center and spend gifts, grants, or endowments or any income from the public or private sources according to their terms.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.      RCW 18.76.040 and 1987 c 214 s 18 & 1980 c 178 s 3 are each repealed.