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Vet Hum Toxicol. 2004 Jun;46(3):155-6.

Is mass-mailing an effective form of passive poison center awareness enhancement?

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  • 1Pittsburgh Poison Center, 3705 Fifth Avenue, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


This project determined whether the massive distribution of poison center telephone number (Poison Help 800-222-1222) awareness stickers via a direct mail campaign, as a passive education technique, enhanced poison center awareness and was cost-effective. A regional ambulance service conducts an annual membership renewal/solicitation drive via mail to all residents within its service area. A sheet of Poison Help stickers was inserted in each ambulance service recruitment envelope and mass-mailed in 3 separate mailings over 4 w to 51% of households in a single county (population 368,983) at a direct expense of 4,477 dollars. Call volumes from zip codes that received the mailing were compared to an identical benchmark time period from the previous year. Analysis of call volume data over the study period revealed that call volume decreased by 1.3% during the study period. A mass-mail campaign to enhance poison center awareness failed to increase poison center call volume from the targeted county and, cannot be construed as cost-effective.

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