Learn About IPC

Christopher

1 year old male

Chicago

Bleach Ingestion
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Poison Center

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Christopher

1 year old male | Location: Chicago Bleach Ingestion

After discovering one year-old Christopher had ingested bleach, his older brother called 911. This call is like many others: close to 50 percent of calls to the IPC involve children five years of age and younger.  Fortunately in this case, the dispatcher referred the call to the Illinois Poison Center, the state’s first responder in poison related emergencies.

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Cost Savings

In small amounts, bleach is a minimally to non-toxic substance. The IPC’s expert staff was able to treat Christopher at home, eliminating the cost of an unnecessary hospital visit. To further ensure his safety, the IPC staff called Christopher’s guardian to check on his status later that day.

The IPC manages 90% of calls from the general public without referral to a health care facility. In fact, the team of physicians, pharmacists, nurses and specially trained poison experts prevent more than 35,000 emergency department visits per year, saving Illinois tax payers more than $52 million per year in health care costs.

Total Cost to Christopher’s Family $0
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Christopher

1 year old male | Location: Chicago Bleach Ingestion

After discovering one year-old Christopher had ingested bleach, his older brother called 911. This call is like many others: close to 50 percent of calls to the IPC involve children five years of age and younger.  Fortunately in this case, the dispatcher referred the call to the Illinois Poison Center, the state’s first responder in poison related emergencies.

Call 911

In most cases, Christopher would have been sent to the hospital via an ambulance where he would have been admitted to the emergency department. After an assessment, it is likely that Christopher would have been released without advanced treatment.

Costs

Basic Support Ambulance Transfer *(including mileage) $951.00
Emergency Department Visit ** $1,318.00
Total Cost to Christopher's Family $2,260.00

* Average costs for ambulance mileage is $17.00 per mile. The paramedics transport patients to the nearest hospital (usually 2-3 miles) or nearest trauma center (may exceed 2-3 miles) if necessary.

** Based on MEPS data, 2009

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Amy

2 year old female

Suburban Chicago

Medicine Ingestion
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Poison Center

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911

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Amy

2 year old female | Location: Suburban Chicago Lisinopril Medication

After discovering two year-old Amy had ingested her grandfather’s Lisinopril, a blood pressure medicine, her mother called the IPC. This call is like many others: close to 50 percent of calls to the IPC involve children five years of age and younger.

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Cost Savings

The IPC is specially trained to determine which type of ingestions can be safely managed at home and which cases require an ED visit. In this case, the IPC’s expert staff was able to monitor and manage Amy’s situation at home, eliminating the cost of an unnecessary hospital visit. To further ensure her safety, the IPC staff called her mother to check on Amy’s status later that day.

The IPC manages 90% of calls from the general public without referral to a health care facility. In fact, the team of physicians, pharmacists, nurses and specially trained poison experts prevent more than 35,000 emergency department visits like this example per year, saving Illinois tax payers more than $52 million per year in health care costs.

Total Cost to Amy’s Family $0
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Amy

2 year old female | Location: Suburban Chicago Lisinopril Medication

After discovering two year-old Amy had ingested her grandfather’s Lisinopril, a blood pressure medicine, her mother called the IPC. This call is like many others: close to 50 percent of calls to the IPC involve children five years of age and younger.

Call 911

Without treatment advice from the IPC, Amy would have been sent to the hospital via an ambulance where she would have been admitted to the emergency department. After an assessment, it is likely that Amy would have been released without advanced treatment.

Costs

Basic Support Ambulance Transfer *(including mileage) $951.00
Emergency Department Visit ** $981.00
Total Cost to Amy's Family $1,932.00

* Average costs for ambulance mileage is $17.00 per mile. The paramedics transport patients to the nearest hospital (usually 2-3 miles) or nearest trauma center (may exceed 2-3 miles) if necessary.

** Based on CompData Report: Adjusted and Unadjusted Charge Report: Illinois patients admitted as inpatients for poisoning; CompData Report: Adjusted and Unadjusted Charge Report: Illinois ED Outpatient visits for poisoning; and Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Data, 2009

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David

20 year old male

Central Illinois

Drug Overdose
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Poison Center

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David

20 year old male | Location: Central Illinois Drug Overdose

In an apparent suicide attempt, David took more than 25 Xanax and an unknown number of Oxycontin, prescription drugs used to treat anxiety and pain that can be fatal if taken in large doses. The paramedic dispatched to the patient called the IPC for treatment advice before arriving to the scene.

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Cost Savings

The IPC’s expert staff recommended treating David with Narcan, a prescription medication used to reverse the effects of opioids like Oxycontin, allowing the treatment process to begin immediately. By providing pre-hospital treatment recommendations, the IPC staff increased transport safety and prevented a potentially fatal outcome.

A consult to the IPC by a health care professional can shorten a patient’s admitted length of stay by an average of one to three days. This service, along with other free treatment advice, saves Illinois tax payers more than $52 million per year in health care costs.

Total Cost Savings for David’s Family $4,960.00
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David

20 year old male | Location: Central Illinois Drug Overdose

In an apparent suicide attempt, David took more than 25 Xanax and an unknown number of Oxycontin, prescription drugs used to treat anxiety and pain that can be fatal if taken in large doses. The paramedic dispatched to the patient called the IPC for treatment advice before arriving to the scene.

Call 911

David would have been transported via an ambulance to the hospital with minimal pre-hospital treatment. Without early treatment, it is likely David would have experienced further complications from the overdose resulting in greater harm to his health and increased admitted length of stay.

Costs

Advanced Support Ambulance Transfer *(including mileage) $1,101.00
Emergency Department Visit * $981.00
Inpatient Treatment $9,920.00
Total Cost to David's Family $12,002.00

* Average costs for ambulance mileage is $17.00 per mile. The paramedics transport patients to the nearest hospital (usually 2-3 miles) or nearest trauma center (may exceed 2-3 miles) if necessary.

** Based on CompData Report: Adjusted and Unadjusted Charge Report: Illinois patients admitted as inpatients for poisoning; CompData Report: Adjusted and Unadjusted Charge Report: Illinois ED Outpatient visits for poisoning; and Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Data, 2009

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Susan

80 year old female

Southern Illinois

Medicine Ingestion
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Poison Center

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Susan

80 year old female | Location: Southern Illinois Calmoseptine Cream Ingestion

After discovering nursing home resident Susan had ingested Calmoseptine cream, a topical cream used to treat skin irritation, the attendant on duty called the IPC for treatment advice.

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Cost Savings

In small amounts, Calmoseptine cream is a minimally to non-toxic substance. The IPC’s expert staff was able to treat Susan at her nursing home facility, eliminating the cost of an unnecessary hospital visit. To further ensure her safety, the IPC staff called the facility’s nursing staff to check on her status later that day.

The IPC manages 90% of calls from the general public without referral to a health care facility. In fact, the team of physicians, pharmacists, nurses and specially trained poison experts prevent more than 35,000 emergency department visits per year, saving Illinois tax payers more than $52 million per year in health care costs.

Total Cost to Susan’s Family $0
Compare to Calling 911

Susan

80 year old female | Location: Southern Illinois Calmoseptine Cream Ingestion

After discovering nursing home resident Susan had ingested Calmoseptine cream, a topical cream used to treat skin irritation, the attendant on duty called the IPC for treatment advice.

Call 911

Susan would have been sent to the hospital via an ambulance, and due to her age, it is likely paramedics would have placed Susan on advanced support to monitor her vitals. Upon arrival, Susan would have been admitted to the emergency department for a treatment evaluation. Following an assessment by the triage nurse and physician, it is likely that Susan would have been released without advanced treatment.

Costs

Advanced Support Ambulance Transfer *(including mileage) $505.00
Emergency Department Visit ** $1,159.00
Level 3 Physician Visit $60.00
Total Cost to Susan's Family $1,724.00

* Average costs for ambulance mileage is $17.00 per mile. The paramedics transport patients to the nearest hospital (usually 2-3 miles) or nearest trauma center (may exceed 2-3 miles) if necessary.

** Based on MEPS data, 2009

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About the IPC

The Illinois Poison Center is a non-profit health service that provides the people of Illinois with access to comprehensive, trusted information and treatment advice on potentially harmful substances 24-hours per day, 365 days per year via a free, confidential hotline- 1-800-222-1222. The call center staff, comprised of specially trained doctors, pharmacists and nurses in poisoning and toxicology, manage 90% of poisoning exposures at home.

The IPC receives more than 80,000 calls per year from across the state. More than 20,000 calls annually come from health care professional; a more than 50 percent increase in the last decade. This expert service saves the people of Illinois $50 million annually by preventing unnecessary 911 calls and visits to a doctor or hospital, including an estimated 35,000 ER visits annually, and decreasing length of stays for poisoned patients admitted to the hospital by an average of 1 day. For every $1 dollar invested in the IPC, there is more than $13 savings in reduced health care costs. The IPC’s work accounts for a $14.1 million in Medicaid savings in each year.

Disclaimer

Each of the case examples are based on real calls to the Illinois Poison Center. The Illinois Poison Center is staffed by physicians, pharmacists and nurses who are specially trained poison information. The medical recommendations provided may vary on a case by case basis. The enclosed case examples should not be considered medical advice.

Sources

City of Chicago Ambulance Bill Data
CompData Report: Adjusted and Unadjusted Charge Report: Illinois patients admitted as inpatients for poisoning.
CompData Report: Adjusted and Unadjusted Charge Report: Illinois ED Outpatient visits for poisoning.
Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Data, 2009