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Utah Poison Control Center Saves Rural Residents More Than $1 Million In Hospital Costs


Utah's rural residents save more than $1 million a year in emergency room costs by calling the Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) in the event of potential poisonings, a study in the medical journal Pediatrics shows.

UPCC, part of the University of Utah's College of Pharmacy, was among the poison control centers studied in 12 states. The study found that one hospital visit is prevented for every 43 calls to a poison control center, saving an average of $7,321 each time a trip to the emergency room is avoided.

The bottom line, says UPCC director Barbara Insley Crouch, Pharm. D., M.P.H., is Utah residents should know and use the UPCC hotline number 1-800-222-1222 if they suspect a potential poisoning.

"It's clear from the study that Utah's rural residents save both time in the hospital and money by calling the UPCC hotline," says Crouch, professor of pharmacotherapy at the College of Pharmacy. "But even more importantly, they can save lives by calling us in an emergency. We urge all Utah residents to keep our toll-free number in plain sight by their phone."

The study was conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, Md.

The Utah Poison Control Center is located in the University of Utah's Research Park and takes calls 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The UPCC receives more than 50,000 calls a year, with approximately 80 percent of those being human-related poison exposures.