Last push to keep Illinois Poison Control Center open

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The Illinois Senate passed legislation Thursday that would prevent the Illinois Poison Control Center from closing.

The director of Illinois Poison Control said the service saves the state $52 million a year with a budget of only $4.2 million. If the center is closed, more patients would rely on 911 and hospitals.

"It would cost the state more money because they would spend more on funding hospitals and 911 calls, when some of those services would be handled by poison control," said Webster, an EMT with Genesis Medical Service in the Quad Cities.

Sponsor Sen. Don Harmon said the state's only poison center answers about 92,000 calls a year. Many of those calls are from hospitals.

"Not having a poison control center to give us directions on poisons or substances we're not familiar with could delay patient care," said Webster. "Not having the center could potentially be detrimental to the patient."

The measure will now go to the Illinois House.