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Poison Center Helpline 1-800-222-1222

IPC Fact Sheets

IPC keeps the public safe from poisoning harm. Our expert-led helpline provides treatment recommendations to the public and healthcare providers.

With our dedicated team of experts, IPC saves lives and improves patient care. IPC has a critical role in the health and well-being of residents across the Illinois. We save Illinoisans $60 million annually by preventing unnecessary utilization of healthcare resources.

2019 Cases

  • IPC managed over 80,000 cases.
  • 92% of those cases were for advice on treating someone exposed to a potentially harmful substance.
  • 8% were calls for poison information.
  • IPC staff made nearly 92,000 follow-up calls to callers from the public and healthcare facilities.

About 41% of poison exposure calls involve children ages 5 or younger, totaling nearly 30,000 pediatric exposures. IPC’s helpline experts resolved 90% of the poison exposure calls from the public over the phone, eliminating the need for a referral to a healthcare facility. This high success rate prevented an estimated 30,000 emergency department visits in 2019.

Helping Healthcare Professionals

Medical professionals throughout Illinois turn to IPC for specialized consultation services in the management of poisoned patients. Healthcare professionals called the IPC on:

  • Over 23,600 exposures originated from a healthcare facility.
  • This caseload represents a 24% increase over the past 10 years.

Top Substances in Exposures

The top three substances involved in exposures reported to IPC are analgesics, sedative hypnotic/antipsychotic drugs and cleaning substances. Here’s the complete list of top substances involved in exposures in 2019:

  • Analgesics (pain killers): 10,822
  • Sedative hypnotics/antipsychotics: 6,449
  • Household cleaning substances: 5,650
  • Antidepressants: 5,222
  • Cosmetics/personal care products: 5,026
  • Alcohols: 3,922
  • Antihistamines: 3,636
  • Foreign bodies/toys/miscellaneous: 3,083
  • Stimulants and street drugs: 2,579
  • Anticonvulsants: 2,469

 See our 2019 fact sheet and our 2018 fact sheet.

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