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posted: 1/18/2014 5:00 AM

Poison control center a needed resource

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I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Congressman Peter Roskam for introducing the Poison Center Network Act, which recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and helps ensure continued federal support for the nation's poison control centers. With this critical legislation, spearheaded by Congressman Roskam, the Illinois Poison Center and the rest of our nation's poison centers may be able to continue providing access to vital poison control, treatment and education services. Please join me in thanking Congressman Roskam and the Illinois delegation who voted for the act for their dedication to the health and safety of our state and our nation.

As a school nurse, I have called upon the lifesaving services of the IPC numerous times. This one-of-a-kind resource supports me, my students, parents, grandparents and the rest of our great state through its expert-led free, confidential helpline. It is comforting to know that there is a team of specially trained physicians, nurses and toxicology experts available 24/7 to help me provide treatment to my students. I've had students get chemicals splashed in their eyes or ingest pen and marker fluids.

The IPC offers instruction and peace of mind to a school nurse. After a call to the IPC help line, I contact the parents, inform them of the situation and tell them that IPC was contacted. Then, given their expert evaluation of the event, instructions are followed without hesitation because of the confidence we have in this wonderful resource. Safety and health of each student is maintained and the avoidance of an emergency department visit can be minimized significantly. I'm thankful for the IPC and pray that it stays as a vital resource to many -- always!

Diane Geraghty

Mount Prospect

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