I’m guessing just about every household, especially ones with children have the Poison Control Center’s phone number handy (or at least they should). But Congress is expected to vote on crucial budget items that could lead to a drastic reduction in funding for Poison Control. Leading to the closure of half of the centers in the country.


According to the story from Fox 31,

“Nationwide every year, when about four million people get into trouble with drugs or poisons they call 57 regional poison centers like the one in Denver, which serves much of the Rocky Mountain west.”

They help people deal with problems at home rather than expensive trips to the ER, and they can send people who do need serious medical attention to the right hospitals that have the right kinds of antidotes. Proponents of the cuts say they need to save a few million dollars from budgets, but opponents of the bill say that Poison Control centers save billions of dollars a year in medical costs.

“The National Institute for Medicine estimated in 2004, for every dollar spent in poison centers, about $11 is saved in other healthcare costs.”

According to the story, if these closures come to pass it could mean people living here calling a center in Washington to handle a rattlesnake bite. That seems as silly as someone from Florida calling Colorado for information on Jellyfish stings.

I’m fairly certain the poison control center saved my life a few times as a youngster, and I even had to call them a few years ago when I had an incident involving windshield washer fluid and blue Powerade. (FYI, using old sports drink bottle to carry some extra washer fluid on a road trip is NOT a good idea, especially if you forget all about it for a few months.)

Poison control Centers save lives, and give parents some serious piece of mind when their little ones get into dangerous products. I hope they can find a way to continue to operate and provide such a needed service for our communities.

Check their website if Find out more about the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center.

Photo via Flickr user "Kiwi Flickr"