IPC's 65th ANNIVERSARY (2018)
Governor Rauner's Proclamation Mayor Emanuel's Proclamation
The pioneering poison control center at St. Luke’s may have been the first of its kind, but it was hardly the last. Within a year, Chicago was home to 11 centers, and by 1958, there were 265 centers nationwide.The centers’ popularity continued to grow throughout the next two decades. At their height in 1978, the nation had 661 poison centers, 102 of them in Illinois. Today, the U.S. is served by 55 poison centers.
In the years after World War II, a host of new potentially toxic consumer products were introduced into American homes, among them insecticides, disinfectants, paints, and furniture polish. Because many healthcare professionals lacked knowledge of these products’ ingredients, they struggled to treat poisoned patients. In the days before child-safety protections, this presented a special challenge to pediatricians. A contemporary report revealed poisoning to be the cause of death for more than 800 children under the age of five nationwide in 1949 and 1950.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the IPC did its part to treat exposures and advise healthcare providers over the phone, as well as educate the public on how to prevent poisonings in both children and adults. By the 1990s, these efforts, along with those of other poison centers, public health measures, and public awareness campaigns, had led to a 90 percent drop in the number of children dying from accidental poisoning.
Today, the IPC’s lifesaving work continues. More than 40 percent of the nearly 80,000 cases the staff manages every year concern children age five and under. However, the general public isn’t the only group that takes advantage of the IPC’s unique expertise. More than one-third of the IPC’s exposure cases come from healthcare facilities around the state. Emergency and admitting physicians and hospital staff rely on IPC recommendations to save lives when treating poisoning cases.
It's been an interesting 65 years:
- Responding to Tylenol® Contamination
- Revolutionizing Mushroom Identification
- Protecting the Public from Synthetic Cannabinoids
- Educating Illinois Residents and Healthcare Professionals
- and much more!
Over the past 65 years, the IPC has built a track record of excellent service to the people of Illinois. However, the work is far from over. Thanks to all of the Illinois healthcare providers and residents who voluntarily shared (and continue to share) poison prevention information with their communities. The IPC looks forward to continuing to partner with the state’s healthcare network as well as individual healthcare providers/students, parents, caregivers and teachers to create safe home, play, work and education environments throughout Illinois. It's easy...click here for ways to help!