What is AfriTox?

AfriTox is a uniquely South African poisons information database developed at Red Cross Children's Hospital since the 1980s. It provides medical practitioners with comprehensive information on managing poisoning in both adults and children.

AfriTox helps medical practitioners in Southern Africa diagnose and treat poisoning in adults or children who have been exposed to any substance encountered in our region. It contains information on an extensive range of poisons, but has a unique focus on local medicines and commercial products, local plants, bites and stings. Much of this information is not found in overseas toxicology databases. Where possible, photographs are included to aid with identification of snakes and scorpions.

Doctors can search for information by chemical substance or commercial product name. AfriTox lists the ingredients of a multi-component product in order of toxicity, providing toxic dose information and treatment protocols for each type of ingredient.

More than 600 treatment protocols are available on AfriTox. Treatment protocols are clearly presented and easily understood by doctors working under pressure in a busy Emergency Room. The treatment information is tailored to local conditions and includes only drugs and antidotes which are available in Southern Africa. Having AfriTox on site overcomes the challenges of lengthy telephone calls to the poisons emergency line and allows for continuous referral to accurate treatment protocols as a patient’s condition changes and treatment progresses.

AfriTox also identifies substances which are not toxic. This avoids unnecessary treatment or referrals.

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