poison center

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1. a point from which a process starts, especially a plexus or ganglion giving off nerves that control a function.
3. an agency or other site where services are offered to the public.
accelerating center the vasomotor center in the brainstem involved in acceleration of heart action.
apneustic center a nerve center in the brainstem controlling normal respiration.
cardioinhibitory center a vasomotor center in the medulla oblongata that exerts an inhibitory influence on the heart.
cardiovascular control c's vasomotor centers.
community mental health center (CMHC) a mental health facility or group of affiliated agencies that provide services to a designated catchment area.
coughing center a nerve center in the medulla oblongata, situated above the respiratory center, which controls the act of coughing.
deglutition center a nerve center in the medulla oblongata that controls swallowing.
detente center a residential care center of the kinlein type, using the esca theory of moving as the basis for the staff's actions to maintain the independence of residents who are experiencing lessened physical or mental capacity.
C's for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services whose headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia. It is concerned with all phases of control of communicable, vector-borne, and occupational diseases and with the prevention of disease, injury, and disability. Its responsibilities include epidemiology, surveillance, detection, laboratory science, ecological investigations, training, disease control methods, chronic disease prevention, health promotion, and injury prevention and control. Its major tasks include the licensing of qualified clinical laboratories for interstate commerce, maintenance of laboratories as reference centers for microorganisms and infectious diseases, and operation of extensive research programs in the prevention, detection and control of disease. The CDC's name has changed several times to reflect its expanding role; it has been called the Communicable Disease Center (1946), the Center for Disease Control (1970), and the Centers for Disease Control (1980). The latest name change, enacted by Congress in 1992, reflects the expansion of the scope of the CDC's mission to include health promotion and education. Because of the widespread recognition of the acronym CDC, that acronym continues to be used by the agency. The mailing address of the CDC is Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30333, and the website is http://www.cdc.gov.
ejaculation center a reflex center in the lumbar spinal cord that regulates ejaculation of semen during sexual stimulation.
erection center a reflex center in the sacral spinal cord that regulates erection of the penis or clitoris. Called also genital center.
feeding center a group of cells in the lateral hypothalamus that when stimulated cause a sensation of hunger; called also hunger center.
genital center erection center.
germinal center the area in the center of a lymph node containing aggregations of actively proliferating lymphocytes.
health center
1. a community health organization providing ambulatory health care and referrals to appropriate service agencies, and coordinating the efforts of all health agencies.
2. an educational complex consisting of a medical college, nursing college, and various allied health professional schools.
heat-regulating c's thermoregulatory centers.
hunger center feeding center.
medullary respiratory center the nerve center in the medulla oblongata that coordinates respiratory movements.
micturition c's a nerve center controlling the bladder and inhibiting the tension of the vesical sphincter, situated in the lumbar enlargement.
nerve center a collection of nerve cells in the central nervous system that are associated together in the performance of some particular function, such as a primary area or an association area.
nursing center a site where public health or primary care services, including patient education, assessment, and screening and preventive services are provided and managed by registered nurses.
center of ossification any point in bones at which ossification begins.
pneumotaxic center a nerve center in the upper pons that rhythmically inhibits inhalation.
poison center (poison control center) see poison control center.
rectovesical center a reflex center in the spinal cord that regulates the rectum and bladder.
reflex center any nerve center at which afferent sensory impressions are converted into efferent motor impulses.
respiratory c's a series of nerve centers (the apneustic, pneumotaxic, and medullary respiratory centers) in the medulla and pons that coordinate respiratory movements.
satiety center a group of cells in the ventromedial hypothalamus that when stimulated suppress the desire for food.
senior center a program supported by Title XX funding, providing recreational activities and lunch for a small fee for older adults in need of socialization. Health assessments and education may also be provided.
sudorific center
1. a nerve center in the anterior hypothalamus controlling sweating.
2. any of several nerve centers in the medulla oblongata or spinal cord that exercise parasympathetic control over sweating. Called also sweat center.
swallowing center deglutition center.
sweat center sudorific center.
thermoregulatory c's nerve centers in the hypothalamus that regulate the conservation and dissipation of heat.
thirst center a group of cells in the lateral hypothalamus that when stimulated cause a sensation of thirst.
trauma center an institution officially designated as a site to which catastrophically injured patients can be brought quickly to receive specialized care. Trauma centers are classified as Level I, II, or III according to criteria developed by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons, with Level I facilities having the equipment and personnel necessary to care for the most seriously injured patients.
vasoconstrictor center a nerve center in the medulla oblongata and lower pons that controls contraction of the blood vessels.
vasodilator center a nerve center in the medulla oblongata that causes dilation of blood vessels by repressing the activity of the vasoconstrictor center.
vasomotor c's nerve centers in the medulla oblongata and the lower pons that regulate the caliber of the blood vessels and increase or decrease the heart rate and contractility. See also vasoconstrictor c. and vasodilator c. Called also cardiovascular control c's.
vomiting center a center in the lower central region of the medulla oblongata; its stimulation causes vomiting.
word center, auditory Wernicke's area.


a substance that, on ingestion, inhalation, absorption, application, injection, or development within the body, in relatively small amounts, may cause structural or functional disturbance. Called also toxin and venom. adj., adj poisonous.

Corrosives are poisons that destroy tissues directly. They include the mineral acids, such as nitric acid, sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid; the caustic alkalis, such as ammonia, sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium carbonate, and sodium hypochlorite; and carbolic acid (phenol). Irritants are poisons that inflame the mucous membranes by direct action. These include arsenic, copper sulfate, salts of lead, zinc, and phosphorus, and many others. neurotoxins or nerve toxins act on the nerves or affect some of the basic cell processes. This large group includes the narcotics, such as opium, heroin, and cocaine, and the barbiturates, anesthetics, and alcohols. hemotoxins or blood toxins act on the blood and deprive it of oxygen. They include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocyanic acid, and the gases used in chemical warfare. Some blood toxins destroy the blood cells or the platelets. See also poisoning and names of individual poisons.
poison ivy, oak, and sumac common plants of the genus Rhus that cause allergic skin reactions. The poison contained in their leaves, roots, and berries is an oily substance called urushiol. It has no effect on some people; in others, momentary or even indirect contact may cause itching and even painful rashes, blisters, and swelling; see Rhusdermatitis.
Poison Ivy. Poison ivy (Rhus radicans) grows in the form of climbing vines, shrubs that trail on the ground, and shrubbery that grows upright without any support. The vine clings to stone and brick houses and climbs trees and poles. It flourishes abundantly along fences, paths, and roadways, and is often partly hidden by other foliage.
Recognition. The poison ivy plant is attractive and is often picked as a decoration by unsuspecting flower gatherers. Although poison ivy comes in many forms and displays seasonal changes, it has one constant characteristic: The leaves always grow in clusters of three, one at the end of the stalk, the other two opposite one another.
Transmission. The plant is particularly potent in the spring and early summer when it is full of oily resinous sap. This forms an invisible film upon the human skin on contact. Direct contact is not always necessary. Some cases of poison ivy dermatitis are caused by the handling of clothing or garden implements that have been contaminated by the sap, sometimes months earlier; dogs and cats may carry it on their fur. Many people are so sensitive that smoke from a brush fire containing poison ivy brings on a rash.
Symptoms. After exposure, the symptoms of poison ivy dermatitis may develop in a matter of hours, though sometimes they do not appear for several days. There is reddening on the hands, neck, face, legs, or whatever parts of the body have been exposed, with considerable itching. Small blisters form which later become larger and eventually exude a watery fluid. The skin then becomes crusty and dry. After a few weeks all symptoms spontaneously disappear.
Treatment. An attack of poison ivy dermatitis can sometimes be avoided if the skin is washed immediately after contact. The skin should be lathered several times and rinsed each time in running water. This may remove all or at least part of the poison ivy film before it is able to penetrate the skin. If, despite precautions, dermatitis does develop, various treatments may relieve the itching. An old standard remedy is calamine lotion. If the inflammation becomes unusually severe or is accompanied by fever, a health care provider should be consulted. A cortisone preparation may be prescribed, which can be taken orally, injected, or applied locally as a cream.
Poison Oak. Poison oak (Rhus diversiloba or R. toxicodendron), sometimes known as oakleaf ivy, is related to poison ivy and not to the oak tree; its eastern and western varieties resemble each other closely. It is usually a low-growing shrub and seldom a climbing vine. It has three leaves, like poison ivy, but they are lobed and bear a slight resemblance to small oak leaves. Its berries are white and small, like those of poison ivy. Poison oak causes the same symptoms as poison ivy. Prevention and treatment are the same as for poison ivy.
Poison Sumac. Although poison sumac (Rhus vernix) goes by other names, such as swamp sumac, poison elder, poison ash, poison dogwood, and thunderwood, there is only one variety of it. Sometimes, however, poison sumac is confused with the several harmless kinds of sumac. Poison sumac is a coarse woody shrub or small tree, and it has white berries, distinguishing it from the harmless varieties of sumac, which have red berries. Symptoms and treatment are the same as for poison ivy.
poison center (poison control center) a telephone service with toxicology experts providing emergency treatment advice for all kinds of poisonings, 24 hours a day. Poison control centers also provide poison prevention information to the community and education about recognition and treatment of poison exposures for health care providers. By gathering data about the outcomes of poison exposures, they also identify new or unexpected toxic hazards, allowing for product recalls, reformulations, or repackaging. Their staffs include physicians, nurses, and pharmacists with training in toxicology. There are more than 500 poison control centers in the United States; 65 of them are officially certified and are members of the American Association of Poison Control Centers. All of these provide 24-hour service and can be reached by calling 1-800-222-1222. See the Appendix of Poison Control Centers, which lists the certified ones.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(sent'er) [L. centrum, center fr Gr. kentron, point, needle, pivot]
1. The middle point of a body.
2. A group of nerve cells within the central nervous system that controls a specific activity or function.

acoustic center

The hearing center in the brain, located in the temporal lobe of the cerebrum.

adult day care center

A center for daytime supervision of adults. These centers provide supervised social, recreational, and health-related activities, usually in a group setting. The centers permit caregivers a respite and free them for other activities (work, play, appointments, socialization) during the day.

ambulatory surgery center

An outpatient surgical center for cardioversions, endoscopies, and other relatively minor operations that do not require prolonged confinement in a hospital.

apneustic center

A cluster of brainstem neurons, located in the lower pons, that regulate breathing by prolonging inhalation.

association center

The center controlling associated movements.

auditory center

The center for hearing in the anterior gyri of the transverse temporal gyri.
See: auditory area

autonomic center

The center in the brain or spinal cord that regulates any of the activities under the control of the autonomic nervous system. Most centers are located in the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and spinal cord.

birth center

An alternative nonhospital facility that provides family-oriented maternity care for women judged to be at low risk of experiencing obstetrical complications.

Broca center

See: Broca, Pierre-Paul

call center

A communications center that manages incoming and outgoing telephone calls with customers and clients. In health care, the center may help to manage appointments and messages or may provide patients with information about illnesses, health care resources, services provided, or self-management of disease.

cardioaccelerator center

The center in the medulla oblongata that gives rise to impulses that speed up the heart rate. Impulses reach the heart by way of sympathetic fibers.

cardioinhibitory center

The center in the medulla oblongata that gives rise to impulses that decrease the heart rate. Impulses reach the heart by way of the vagus (parasympathetic) nerves.

chondrification center

The center of cartilage formation.

ciliospinal center

The center in the spinal cord that transmits sympathetic impulses that dilate the pupils of the eyes.

day care center

A place for the care of preschool children when their parents are for any reason unable to care for them. Initially, such facilities were open during normal working hours, but many now offer early drop-off and late pickup.

defecation center

Either of two centers, a medullary center located in the medulla oblongata and a spinal center located in the second to fourth sacral segments of the spinal cord. The anospinal center controls the reflex aspects of defecation.

deglutition center

A group of structures in the brain that controls swallowing. These structures are located in the medulla oblongata and in the inferior pons.

diabetic center

1. An area in the floor of the fourth ventricle of the brain.
2. A health care facility that provides specialized care to patients with diabetes mellitus.

epiotic center

The ossification center of the temporal bone, forming the upper and posterior part of the auditory capsule.

expiratory center

The part of the respiratory center, located dorsal to the inspiratory center, that promotes a forced exhalation.

feeding center

An area in the ventrolateral nucleus of the hypothalamus that originates signals to the cerebral cortex that stimulate eating.
See: satiety center; set point weight

germinal center

A collection of B cells undergoing proliferation within the follicle of a lymph node or other lymphoid tissue after antigen stimulation.

gustatory center

The center, primarily in the parietal lobes, that feels and interprets taste. Synonym: taste center; taste area

heat-regulating center

Either of two centers, a heat loss and a heat production center, located in the hypothalamus. They regulate body temperature.

higher center

A center in any portion of the brain, in contrast to one in the spinal cord.

independent living center

A community facility that coordinates services for the disabled, including counseling, training, rehabilitation, assistance with devices, and respite care.

inspiratory center

The respiratory center, located in the rostral half of the reticular formation overlying the olivary nuclei, that generates impulses that cause contraction of the diaphragm and external intercostal muscles.

lower center

A center in the brainstem or spinal cord.
Enlarge picture

micturition center

A center that controls the reflexes of the urinary bladder. These are located in the second to fourth and fourth to sixth sacral segments of the cord. Higher centers are present in the medulla oblongata, hypothalamus, and cerebrum.
See: illustration

motor cortical center

An area in the frontal lobe in which impulses for voluntary movements originate.

nerve center

An area in the central nervous system or in a ganglion that is responsible for certain functions; examples include the motor areas in the frontal lobes of the cerebrum.

organization center

1. An embryonic group of cells that induces the development of another structure.
2. A region in an ovum that is responsible for the mode of development of the fertilized ovum.

ossification center

The site or sites in bones where calcification begins and bone replaces fibrous connective tissue or cartilage. The region of bone formation at the center of the body of a long bone is called the primary (diaphyseal) ossification center. Most secondary ossification centers are found in the epiphyses.

panoramic rotational center

The axis on which the tube head and cassette of a panoramic x-ray machine rotate.

pneumotaxic center

The center in the pons that rhythmically inhibits inspiration.

poison control center

, poison center
A facility meeting the staffing and equipment standards of the American Association of Poison Control Centers and recognized to be able to give information about poisoning or treatment to patients suffering from poisoning. A poison information center consists of specially trained staff and a reference library but does not have treatment facilities. More than 400 poison centers are scattered throughout the U.S., offering 24-hr service. They are commonly associated with or are part of large hospitals or medical schools. A government agency (the Bureau of Drugs Division of the Poison Control Branch of the Food and Drug Administration, U.S, Department of Health and Human Services) is also active in poison control programs and in coordinating the efforts of individual centers. In the U.S., all poison control centers can be reached by calling 1-800-222-1222.

psychocortical center

Any of the centers of the cerebral cortex concerned with voluntary muscular contractions.

reflex center

A region within the brain or spinal cord where connections (synapses) are made between afferent and efferent neurons of a reflex arc.

respiratory center

A region in the medulla oblongata of the brainstem that regulates movements of respiration. This area consists of an inspiratory center and an expiratory center. The pons contains the apneustic center and the pneumotaxic center.

satiety center

An area in the ventromedial hypothalamus that modulates the stimulus to eat by sending inhibitory impulses, following a meal, to the feeding center. Blood levels of nutrients and gastrointestinal hormones influence its activity.

senior center

A community building or meeting room where older adults gather for education, recreation, and services and activities that reflect their interests, enhance their dignity, support their independence, and encourage their involvement with the community. There are approx. 15,000 centers across the U.S., serving close to 10 million older adults annually. Most are supported by government and local nonprofit organizations. Since 1965, the Older Americans Act has provided some funding support to over 6000 senior centers through service contracts for program activities.

speech center

Broca area.

stroke center

A tertiary care hospital that specializes in the care of patients with acute neurological dysfunction, esp. the administration of thrombolytic drugs to appropriately selected patients with acute ischemic stroke; the management of patient blood pressure, glucose levels, and electrolytes; early mobilization of patients; and the prevention of complications of stroke, including deep venous thrombosis, depression, malnutrition, and pressure ulcers.

suicide prevention center

A health care facility for preventing suicide by counseling and crisis intervention.

sweat center

Any of the principal centers controlling perspiration located in the hypothalamus; secondary centers are present in the spinal cord.

taste center

Gustatory center.

temperature center

Thermoregulatory center.

thermoregulatory center

A center in the hypothalamus that regulates heat production and heat loss, esp. the latter, so that a normal body temperature is maintained. It is influenced by nerve impulses from cutaneous receptors and by the temperature of the blood flowing through it. Synonym: temperature center

trauma center

A regional hospital capable of providing care for critically injured patients. A surgical team, operating suite, surgical subspecialties, intensive care unit, and specialized nursing team are always available.

vasoconstrictor center

The center in the medulla oblongata that brings about the constriction of blood vessels.

vasodilator center

The center in the medulla oblongata that brings about the dilation of blood vessels.

vasomotor center

The center that controls the diameter of blood vessels; the vasoconstrictor and vasodilator centers.

visual center

A center in the occipital lobes of the cerebrum that receives visual information transmitted from the retina.

vital center

Any of the centers in the medulla concerned with respiration, heart rate, or blood pressure.

poison control center

, poison center
A facility meeting the staffing and equipment standards of the American Association of Poison Control Centers and recognized to be able to give information about poisoning or treatment to patients suffering from poisoning. A poison information center consists of specially trained staff and a reference library but does not have treatment facilities. More than 400 poison centers are scattered throughout the U.S., offering 24-hr service. They are commonly associated with or are part of large hospitals or medical schools. A government agency (the Bureau of Drugs Division of the Poison Control Branch of the Food and Drug Administration, U.S, Department of Health and Human Services) is also active in poison control programs and in coordinating the efforts of individual centers. In the U.S., all poison control centers can be reached by calling 1-800-222-1222.
See also: center
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Cost-benefit analysis of a regional poison center. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2008; 46:450-456.
One reason may be that people can only call a poison information center if they know that one exists![131 The Western Cape has two poison centers. Both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng once had poison centers which have now closed.
Data obtained from the Kentucky Regional Poison Center were limited to opiate exposures only.
Through consultation with the poison center's Medical Director, Dr.
Appendices include herb- drug interactions, a mushroom poisoning decision chart, Poison Center hotline, herbal use during pregnancy and lactation, scientific and trade organizations, and information sources.
Most calls to the Poison Center are for children 5 years of age and under.
Robert Nix, a former fire college deputy who was sentenced to 2 1/2 years on his guilty plea to theft and conspiracy, testified that Langston set up payments of more than $200,000 for him under the guise of consulting work for the Alabama Poison Center and the Access Group, a Jasper software company.
For assistance in diagnosing and treating suspected antifreeze poisonings, call the experts at the Maryland Poison Center at 800-222-1222.
"Dexomethorphan at high doses allows users to feel high, dizzy and so on," said Eric Schuetz, a certified specialist at the Maryland Poison Center. "But what they don't realize is they can also experience vomiting, become agitated and hallucinate.
The AAP's policy statement Poison Treatment in the Home says, "It is premature to recommend the administration of activated charcoal in the home." James Mowry, Pharm.D., director of the Indiana Poison Center, states, "Most poison control centers are getting away from using ipecac or activated charcoal because no good data show it affects the outcome, and [therefore] we probably shouldn't be doing it." Because of the syrup's binding action to ingested poisons, some poison control centers recommend that parents keep a bottle (10 to 15 grams) of activated charcoal on hand, again to use only at the advice of a poison control center or physician.