The data was released today by the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM), which launched the campaign "Not everything is as it seems", with the aim of alerting to the existence of this specialized service in intoxications, accessible to anyone through the free telephone number: 800 250 250.

Of the 25,167 consultations conducted last year at the Poison Information Centre (CIAV), 24,034 (95.49%) were related to situations of exposure to toxic potential, the INEM said in a statement, noting that "about 56% of these cases resulted from unintentional and, as such, avoidable exposure."

According to CIAV data, 8,419 consultations involved children, and the majority (58%) were less than five years old.

Of the 15,159 cases related to the adult population, 63% are women, with a higher number of consultations in the 20-29 age group, with 2,898 cases.

Medicines continue to be the reason that most motivates contact with the Poison Information Centre, having totalled 10,045 occurrences involving anxiolytics (4,734), antidepressants (3,074) and antipsychotics (2,237).

Substance abuse (1,796), including alcohol; cleaning products such as bleaches (1,464) and detergents (1,329); and pesticides (1,304) represent 83% of cases involving other products and that determined the use of the centre, according to data from the "CIAV Bulletin – Statistics 2022".

At the time of contact with the centre, 53.85% (12,942) of the users presented symptoms, and it was possible to resolve the situation through the indications of the CIAV in 42.88% (10,306) of the situations, without the need to send medical emergency resources.

Data for 2022 indicates that the majority of contacts received at CIAV are transferred through the Urgent Patient Guidance Centre (CODU) of INEM (7,193), after contact via 112.

The following are calls made directly to 800 250 250, from Hospital Units (6,597) and from users (5,406).

The INEM points out that the campaign "Not everything is as it seems" aims to raise awareness among the population of the existence of CIAV, a specialized telephone consultation medical centre in the area of poisoning that operates uninterruptedly and also responds to situations of poisoning in animals.

In the consultation are physicians with specific training in the field of toxicology, who provide support to the general public and health professionals in situations related to exposure to toxics, prevention measures or any information in the area of toxicology.

The now publicised campaign is part of the "CIAV Project – Anti-Venom Information Centre" which aimed to develop a Product Notification Platform in CIAV and the connection to the European Chemical Agency's European Product Submission Portal (ECHA).

"This is a project co-financed by Portugal 2020, under the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Internationalization, in the amount of 746,607.16 euros, of which 425,192.78 euros come from the European Fund for Regional Development", says INEM.

The campaign "Not everything is as it seems" is present in various media, namely radio, 'billboards' and digital platforms, and will have other educational supports such as posters and advertising in INEM ambulances.