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Poison Center Helpline 1-800-222-1222

IPC Fact Sheet

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.

2023 Cases

  • IPC managed 72,000 cases.
  • 93% of those cases were for advice on treating someone exposed to a potentially harmful substance.
  • IPC staff made 65,500 follow-up calls to callers from the public and healthcare facilities.

About 39% of poison exposure calls involve children ages 5 or younger. IPC’s helpline experts resolved 92% 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 2023.

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:

  • 21,000 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 antidepressants. Here’s the complete list of top substances involved in exposures in 2023:

  • Analgesics (pain killers): 9,642
  • Antidepressants: 5,159
  • Household Cleaning Substances: 4,900
  • Sedative/Hypnotics/Antipsychotics: 4,837
  • Cardiovascular Drugs: 4,345
  • Cosmetics/Personal Care Products: 4,145
  • Antihistamines: 3,635
  • Foreign Bodies/Toys/Miscellaneous: 3,241
  •  Alcohols: 3,121
  • Stimulants and Street Drugs: 2,957

See our 2023 fact sheet.

Discover More

Poison Center HelplineCalls are free and confidential.

  1. In Case of Emergency

    Call 911 if someone is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing.

  2. Remain Calm

    Most poison emergencies can be resolved quickly over the phone.

  3. Call the Helpline

    Call 1-800-222-1222 if you are concerned that you or someone else has been exposed to a potentially harmful substance.