The Iowa Poison Control Center (IPCC), located in Sioux City, provides 24-hour toll-free telephone access to emergency poison information and treatment for all residents of Iowa. The IPCC is contacted for all kinds of poisonings and overdoses affecting people of all ages: ingestions of household products; overdoses of therapeutic, illegal, foreign, and veterinary drugs; chemical exposures on the job or elsewhere; hazardous materials spills; bites of snakes, spiders and other venomous creatures; plant and mushroom poisonings; medication errors, product misuse, and drug interactions; pet poisonings; and environmental/biochemical disasters. The service is provided through a national toll-free telephone number 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services are available for the hearing impaired and non-English speaking.
90% of calls from the general public can be managed entirely at home with telephone guidance from the Poison Center. This saves Iowa and its residents over $12 million/year in unnecessary health care costs by avoiding a trip to the hospital or doctor. Patients managed with poison center expertise on average experience shorter hospitalizations, helping health care providers serve more patients, improving health outcomes and decreasing health care costs.
Various programs are available and designed to promote awareness and prevention of unintentional and intentional exposures; and to improve patient management to those exposures.
To arrange an on-site continuing education program for your professional healthcare staff, please call the Iowa Poison Control Center education line at 712-279-3717 or 800-222-1222 and ask for the education office.
Poison prevention brochures, telephone stickers, magnets and other printed materials written in various languages are provided to the general public by mail, fax or internet to prevent exposures to hazardous substances, to promote awareness of poison prevention and to increase utilization of poison control services. Poison Prevention Orders
Real-time poison control center data, collected by the nation’s 55 poison control centers into a national database, triggers the recognition of a variety of public health threats and provides a tracking mechanism for those events. Poison centers are often the first to detect emerging public health threats such contaminated food outbreaks, new drugs of abuse, tainted medication and other hazards. And once a threat is detected, the poison center is a vital partner in local, state and federal response efforts.
The Specialists in Poison Information (SPIs) who answer the phones at the poison center are registered nurses or pharmacists uniquely trained in clinical toxicology. They are required to pass a rigorous national certification exam administered by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Board-certified medical toxicologists provide clinical supervision and back-up support for the SPIs. They are available 24/7 for consultations with health care providers.