PRL helps moms-to-be and saves taxpayers money

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SALT LAKE CITY -- For 25 years pregnant Utah women have had a valuable resource at their fingertips: The Pregnancy Risk Line.

According to the Utah Department of Health who helped launch the line in 1984, it's saved taxpayers and the health care system more than $139 million.

Since the Pregnancy Risk Line launched, it's saved taxpayers and the health care system, more that $139 million!

Monday through Friday someone will always answer the call of a confused or panicked pregnant mom. Dr. John Carey, with the Utah Department of Health, said the Pregnancy Risk Line answers almost 10,000 calls per year.

**Top 10 most frequent caller topics:** • Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines • OTC allergy medications • Antidepressants • OTC pain relievers • Antibiotics • Hair care and cosmetics • Household cleaning products • Maternal infections and chronic conditions • Herbs • Substances of abuse
When Carey founded PRL a quarter century ago, he said there was a lot of bad information out about birth defects and a lot of confused pregnant moms-to-be.

When a woman calls the PRL, they get immediate answers. Dr. David Sundwall, with the Utah Department of Health, said, "This is something we have bragging rights about Utah. It's the longest running in the country, probably served more people per capita than other states."

By helping prevent potential birth defects or unnecessary visits to doctors or emergency rooms, the risk line has helped save taxpayers and health care systems millions of dollars.

Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, said, "When we help a person who is pregnant make a wise decision about the substances she consumes then that will have an impact on children in the future."

**Pregnancy Risk Line has:** • Saved more than 10,000 babies • Served 225,000 callers • Educated 60,000 more at other venues • Saved health care system and tax payers $139 million
Moms like Katie Morrison have called before, during and after their pregnancy. "Every time I have called the Pregnancy Risk Line, I have felt that they are warm. I know it's confidential, so I have no fear asking the questions I have."

Katie now has a healthy 11-month-old baby boy, and she doesn't plan to stop calling the PRL anytime soon. "I plan to use them in my future pregnancies," she said.

Pregnancy Risk Line number is: 1-800-822-2229 (baby).

The phones are open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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Amanda Butterfield


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