04.29.08

Burr Works To Keep Poison Control Network Going

Bi-partisan bill reauthorizes the poison center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and state grant program

Today, U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and Patty Murray (D-Washington) introduced bi-partisan legislation that will continue support of the nation's poison control centers. Specifically, the bill reauthorizes the poison center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and state grant program.

"The expert assistance provided by poison centers like Carolinas Poison Center, is available to families and hospitals 24 hours a day and significantly reduces the number of emergency room visits and associated health care costs for poisonings," Burr said. "We must renew our commitment to the nation's poison centers so they can continue to be a resource in detecting and monitoring public health emergencies."

"The poison control network is literally a lifeline for millions of Americans," Senator Murray said. "This bill means that parents around the country can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that help is still just a phone call away."

The poison center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and state grant program provide assistance for the national network of poison control centers. There are currently 61 poison control centers (PCCs) nationwide, including the Carolinas Poison Center in North Carolina. The Carolinas Poison Center is an emergency telephone service that is operated 24 hours a day by specialists including registered nurses and pharmacists. These professionals provide advice and treatment for victims of poisoning and provide assistance for healthcare professionals as well. Additionally, Carolinas Poisons Center facilitates community outreach and school programs to help spread awareness of the dangers of unintentional poisoning and they provide educational materials.

The toll-free nationwide poison control hotline number is 1-800-222-1222.