We hope you enjoyed our Day in the Life of the Poison Center blog-a-thon. Those cases represent just a single day here at IPC; that translates to nearly 80,000 people that we help each year in Illinois. Hopefully after reading these sample cases, you’ve learned that the IPC can help with just about any substance out there, and that there is no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed to call, because we really have heard it all! To view the cases again, click on any of the following hourly posts:
We showed you a 1-2 sentence summary of the cases, but a lot more goes into each one. Some calls can take 15 minutes each or more. We take the time to get a full history surrounding each exposure, research and assess the situation, inform the caller of the expected effects, and also describe any interventions that may need to be done to ensure the best possible outcome. We’re not just a voice on the phone; we collaborate with other health care professionals (nurses, pharmacists, doctors, EMS) and experts (mycologists, herpetologists) to ensure that every potential poisoning we are involved with is managed with the most up-to-date and best possible toxicology information. We are proud that over 90% of the calls we handle can be resolved over the phone, saving unnecessary medical costs (ER visits, ambulance transports, decreased length of stay in the hospital). Last year, the IPC saved Illinois taxpayers over $60 million.
The key element of our success is our poison specialists, who field these calls day after day with concern, respect and experience. All of our specialists are health care professionals specially trained in toxicology, dedicated to helping anyone who has come into contact with a potentially harmful substance.
Illinois residents can call the poison center for information or help for free. The IPC is a non-profit organization. Federal and state grants and appropriations provide 60% of our funding, and we depend on these grants as well as private donations from foundations and individuals to cover our costs.
We would love to hear what you thought about our blog-a-thon, please leave a comment below.
Don’t forget to check out the “My Child Ate…” resource center which gives toxicity level and treatment information for the most common substances/products ingested by children. Click here to request a free Complimentary/Safety Brochure (includes sticker and magnet) or take advantage of the free, online Poison Prevention Education Course and Resource Center.