TABLE 8-1 Haddon Matrix for Poison Prevention and Control

Timing of Injury

Human Host

Agent (vector of metabolic injury)

Preexposure (preexisting)

Developmental aspects:

—children: explore

—teens: experiment

—elderly: mistakes; drug interactions

—addicts: overdose

—workers: job related

Unnecessary use of hazardous agents

Toxicity of chemical

Availability of agent

Unanticipated exposure

Eliminate production

Eliminate chemicals as weapons


Knowledge of what to do

Knowledge of poison control center toll-free number

Emergency actions:



—correct treatment

Access to expert advice

Dose of exposure

Route of exposure

Body’s reaction to agent

Immediate use of antidote/ treatment






Educate public based on cases, experience

Postexposure follow-up and monitoring of victims

Knowledge about correct care of poisoned host

Track exposure to agents

Modify hazardous agents based on information

Repackaging agents

NOTE: Two principles of the Haddon matrix: (1) It is not when you do something, such as eliminating production, but when the action is relevant to the time frame of the injury occurrence or mitigation. (2) An action that prevents an injury is “preevent” even if it is based on after-the-fact knowledge.

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