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Access to vital first aid information

14 July 2005

New Zealanders now have access to vital first aid information on 90,000 hazards

New Zealanders now have access to a database of almost 90,000 chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and hazardous creatures and plants.

The database, called TOXINZ, has until now been available only to poisons and emergency medicine specialists.

"We have now expanded the information and access to it so that the general public can obtain vital information on first aid treatment," said Dr John Fountain, co-convenor of a joint conference of TOXINZ and the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine being held at the Millennium Hotel in Queenstown, July 20-23.

Dr Fountain said the expanded database will be launched at the conference. It can be accessed at www.toxinz.com.

To search for first-aid information, simply type the name of the substance in the search box and click "Search".

He said the database also contains detailed management information for healthcare providers treating a poisoned patient.

The hazards covered by the database are tailored for the Australasian region.

The information, while comprehensive, is succinct, easily navigated, and contains clear recommendations on patient management.

Advice is fully referenced and reviewed by an international editorial board, and updates are made in real time.

Access to first aid information is free, Dr Fountain said.

The database was developed the New Zealand National Poisons Centre.

TOXINZ began in its original form in August 2002 and is now used in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam.

ENDS

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