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First poison centre in eastern region to come up at Odisha’s Sum hospital

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 13:

With diagnosis and management of poisoning cases becoming a regular affair in hospitals across Odisha,  the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, run by the Bhubaneswar-based SOA University, is setting up the first Poison Control Centre in eastern India.

“We will be taking steps to establish a Poison Control Centre in our hospital as it has become an important requirement,” Prof DK Roy, Medical Director of IMS and Sum Hospital said on Sunday while addressing a National Seminar on Forensic Toxicology organized at the hospital.ITER SUM hospital

Eminent toxicologist, Prof VV Pillay, considered an authority on the subject and chief speaker at the seminar complimented the Sum Hospital for the move saying it could be the first such centre in the eastern region.

“There are two such Poison Control Centres in the south and two in the west besides one in northern region. But there are none in eastern India. I will extend all possible support for this endeavour,” Prof Pillay, who is head of the Department of Analytical Toxicology and Professor of Forensic Medicine at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin, said.

Dr RP Sharma, Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said forensic toxicology was a very important part of police investigation as in many cases the exact cause of the death of a person remained unknown. He stressed on more research to illuminate this area.

Guest of honour, Prof AK Mohapatra, Director of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, said the subject of toxicology had assumed significance because people were continuously exposed to toxic effects in the food and water intake or through environmental hazards.

Referring to a legal case when he was asked to study the impact of radio waves emanated by cell phone towers on human beings, Mohapatra said even senior officials of the telecom department had no clue to such happenings.

“Anything you eat or drink today can be toxic and toxicology has become more important for every doctor,” he added.

In his lecture, Prof Pillay highlighted the emerging trend in the diagnosis and management of poisoning by way of a ‘toxicodromic’ approach so as to enable the appropriate assessment and differential diagnosis of a poisoned patient.

Such an approach, besides being useful to a clinical toxicologist in the treatment of poisoned victims, would also be of help to a forensic toxicologist or investigating officer in analyzing the possible cause of poisoning fatalities, he said.

Dr PK Mohanty, Medical Superintendent of Sum Hospital and Prof P Samantasinghar of the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology and organizing secretary of the seminar also spoke.