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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.

2021 Cases

  • IPC managed 75,000 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 87,300 follow-up calls to callers from the public and healthcare facilities.

About 39% of poison exposure calls involve children ages 5 or younger, totaling 29,250 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 2021.

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:

  • 21,300 exposures originated from a healthcare facility.

Top 10 Substances in Exposures

The top three substances involved in exposures reported to IPC are analgesics, cleaning substances and sedative hypnotic/antipsychotic drugs. Here’s the complete list of top substances involved in exposures in 2020:

  • Analgesics (pain killers): 10,024
  • Household cleaning substances: 5,422
  • Sedative hypnotics/antipsychotics: 5,290
  • Antidepressants: 5,054
  • Cosmetics/personal care products: 4,270
  • Alcohols: 3,758
  • Cardiovascular drugs: 3,743
  • Antihistamines: 3,570
  • Stimulants and street drugs: 2,813
  • Foreign bodies/toys/miscellaneous: 2,644

See our 2021 fact sheet.

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