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  ToxDept About Dept


Women's & Children's Hospital

Adelaide, Australia


About the Department

The Toxinology Department, Women's & Children's Hospital, was established in 1990 and was the first such department, focussed on clinical toxinology, in Australia. Through its director, Assoc. Prof. Julian White, the Department has wide ranging clinical and educational activities, spanning Australia and beyond.

The primary purpose of the Toxinology Department is to improve outcomes for patients affected by natural toxins, whether it be envenoming by snakes, scorpions, spiders, marine animals or other venomous animals, or poisoning by ingestion of toxins from poisonous animals, plants or mushrooms. The Toxinology Department has a particular focus on snakebite and spiderbite.

To achieve improved patient outcomes, the Toxinology Department has a dual approach. Firstly, it provides a consultative service to health professionals throught Australia and beyond, advising on the diagnosis and management of individual cases of envenoming or toxin poisoning. In the home town for the Toxinology Department, Adelaide, South Australia, direct management of cases in Adelaide teaching hospitals is undertaken.

Secondly the Toxinology Department is very active in improving outcomes for patients by providing both information resources and training in clinical toxinology for health professionals. This includes specialist clinical toxinology courses, lectures to doctors, nurses, paramedics, medical & nursing students and laboratory scientists, through the teaching hospital network and in cooperation with the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and Flinders University. Many publications are produced. This website is a further extension of this activity.

The Department, through its staff, has contributed to numerous papers, monographs, textbook chapters and books covering clinical toxinology. Within Australia the most commonly used in clinical practice is the "A Clinician’s Guide to Australian Venomous Bites and Stings", incorporating the updated CSL Antivenom Handbook. The contents of this "bible" for antivenom use in Australia are available in a separate section of this site.

A partial list of publications and major presentations at scientific/medical meetings is provided as part of this site.