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Poison Hotline Could Shut Down Without Money

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CBS Chicago (con't)

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(CBS) — The Illinois Poison Center, which runs a confidential hotline to dispense information about dangerous substances, is itself in need of revival.

By June 30, the publicly and privately funded center could be closed because of a lack of money.

“I think we are cautiously optimistic,” says the center’s medical director, Dr. Michael Wahl. “We are gathering a lot of support. It really comes down to collaboration and whether all the people who are involved in these decisions agree that the Poison Center is important to keep open.”

The money to run the center comes from hospitals and from state and federal governments.

Wahl notes it’s more than a resource for panicked parents who want to know whether they should induce vomiting in a child who has swallowed something. A large percentage of calls are from hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units.

Wahl says a possible source of funding could be a cell phone 9-1-1 surcharge that is still being levied. Earmarked projects are done or almost done, which would free up revenue.

For more information about the Illinois Poison Center, click here.

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