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Emergency Nurses Association Commends Legislative Decision to Fund Illinois Poison Center

Nation's Oldest Poison Center Will Continue to Be First Line of Defense for Poison Emergencies in Illinois

DES PLAINES, IL--(Marketwired - June 19, 2014) - Just weeks before the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) was slated to close due to lack of funding, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) applauds Illinois lawmakers for passing legislation requiring funding. S.B. 741 was signed into law this week, maintaining the investment in the state's only remaining poison control, information and treatment center. IPC will receive $8 million in Medicaid funding through 2018.

"Emergency nurses can attest to the value of these centers in diagnosing and treating patients," said ENA president Deena Brecher, MSN, RN, APN, ACNS-BC, CEN, CPEN. "There is no substitute for the 24-hour availability and expertise provided by professionals at poison control centers. We're thrilled IPC will receive the support it needs to continue to serve the people of Illinois."

IPC serves as a first responder for Illinoisans facing poisoning emergencies, ensuring access to timely poison prevention and treatment services for children, seniors and families. Illinois was the first state to implement a poison center, yet earlier this year IPC announced it would be forced to close its doors on June 30 if the state could not find stable funding.

In 2013, the poison center received approximately $3.7 million in funding, including about $2 million from state and federal sources. Nevertheless, IPC incurred a deficit of nearly $500,000.

IPC handles 82,000 poison-related cases throughout Illinois annually, nearly half of those involving children age five and under. In 2013, IPC prevented an estimated 35,000 emergency department visits. The same year, it saved Illinois more than $52 million; approximately $15.7 million of that was Medicaid savings.

About the Emergency Nurses Association
The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With more than 40,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines, and guides emergency healthcare public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and nearly all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at www.ena.org.

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