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Poisoning first aid

Poisoning is caused by swallowing, injecting, breathing in, or otherwise being exposed to a harmful substance. Most poisonings occur by accident. Immediate first aid is very important in a poisoning emergency. The first aid you give before getting medical help can save a person's life. This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 . Considerations Millions of poisonings are reported to United States poison control centers every year, with many deaths. It is important to note that just because a package does not have a warning label doesn't mean it is safe. You should consider poisoning if someone suddenly becomes sick for no apparent reason, or if the person is found near a furnace, car, fire, or in an area that is not well ventilated. Symptoms of poisoning may take time to develop. However, if you think someone has been poisoned, do not wait for symptoms to develop before getting that person medical help. Causes Items that can cause poisoning include:

Carbon monoxide gas (from furnaces, gas engines, fires, space heaters) Certain foods (See: Food Poisoning) Chemicals in the workplace Drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines (such as an aspirin overdose) and illicit drugs such as cocaine Household detergents and cleaning products Household and outdoor plants (eating toxic plants) Insecticides Paints

Symptoms Symptoms vary according to the poison, but may include:

Abdominal pain Bluish lips Chest pain

Confusion Cough Diarrhea Difficulty breathing Dizziness Double vision Drowsiness Fever Headache Heart palpitations Irritability Loss of appetite Loss of bladder control Muscle twitching Nausea and vomiting Numbness or tingling Seizures Shortness of breath Skin rash or burns Stupor Unconsciousness Unusual breath odor Weakness

First Aid Seek immediate medical help. For poisoning by swallowing:

1. Check and monitor the person's airway, breathing, and pulse. If necessary, begin rescue breathing andCPR. 2. Try to make sure that the person has indeed been poisoned. It may be hard to tell. Some signs include chemical-smelling breath, burns around the mouth, difficulty breathing, vomiting, or unusual odors on the person. If possible, identify the poison. 3. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional. 4. If the person vomits, clear the person's airway. Wrap a cloth around your fingers before cleaning out the mouth and throat. If the person has been sick from a plant part, save the vomit. It may help experts identify what medicine can be used to help reverse the poisoning. 5. If the person starts having convulsions, give convulsion first aid. 6. Keep the person comfortable. The person should be rolled onto the left side, and remain there while getting or waiting for medical help.

7. If the poison has spilled on the person's clothes, remove the clothing and flush the skin with water. For inhalation poisoning: 1. Call for emergency help. Never attempt to rescue a person without notifying others first. 2. If it is safe to do so, rescue the person from the danger of the gas, fumes, or smoke. Open windows and doors to remove the fumes. 3. Take several deep breaths of fresh air, and then hold your breath as you go in. Hold a wet cloth over your nose and mouth. 4. Do not light a match or use a lighter because some gases can catch fire. 5. After rescuing the person from danger, check and monitor the person's airway, breathing, and pulse. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR. 6. If necessary, perform first aid for eye injuries (eye emergencies) or convulsions ( convulsion first aid). 7. If the person vomits, clear the person's airway. Wrap a cloth around your fingers before cleaning out the mouth and throat. 8. Even if the person seems perfectly fine, get medical help. DO NOT

Do NOT give an unconscious person anything by mouth. Do NOT induce vomiting unless you are told to do so by the Poison Control Center or a doctor. A strong poison that burns on the way down the throat will also do damage on the way back up. Do NOT try to neutralize the poison with lemon juice or vinegar, or any other substance, unless you are told to do so by the Poison Control Center or a doctor. Do NOT use any "cure-all" type antidote. Do NOT wait for symptoms to develop if you suspect that someone has been poisoned.

When to Contact a Medical Professional The National Poison Control Center ( 1-800-222-1222 ) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions. This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible. See: Poison control center - emergency number Prevention

Be aware of poisons in and around your home. Take steps to protect young children from toxic substances. Store all medicines, cleaners, cosmetics, and household chemicals out of reach of children, or in cabinets with childproof latches. Be familiar with plants in your home, yard, and vicinity. Keep your children informed, too. Remove any poisonous plants. Never eat wild plants, mushrooms, roots, or berries unless you very familiar with them. Teach children about the dangers of substances that contain poison. Label all poisons. Don't store household chemicals in food containers, even if they are labeled. Most nonfood substances are poisonous if taken in large doses. If you are concerned that industrial poisons might be polluting nearby land or water, report your concerns to the local health department or the state or federal Environmental Protection Agency. References Hack JB, Hoffman RS. General management of poisoned patients. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill; 2006:chap 156. Bronstein A, Spyker D, et al .2009 Annual Report of the American association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS). Clinical Toxicology 2010: 48; 979-1178. Update Date: 2/2/2011 Updated by: Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. Browse the Encyclopedia

Source: 7/28/11 6:30 from=share_email_logout3

First Aid for Poisoning

Poison is any substance: solid, liquid or gas, that tends to impair health or cause death when introduced into the body or onto the skin surface. A poisoning emergency can be life threatening. Causes: 1. Common in suicide attempts. 2. Occasional accidental poisoning. Ways in which poisoning may occur

ingestion- by mouth inhalation- by breathing injection- by animal bites, stings, syringes absorption- by skin contact

Common Household Poison 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Sleeping pills Pain relievers Insect and rodent poisons Kerosene Denatured alcohol Lye and acids including boric Poisonous plants Contaminated water Fume

INGESTED POISON is one that is introduced into the digestive tract by way of the mouth. One form of ingestion poisoning is food poisoning, a general form that covers a variety of conditions. Suspect food poisoning if: 1. the victim ate food that "didn't taste right" or that may have been old, improperly prepared, contaminated, left at room temperature for a long time, or proceesed with an excessive amount of chemicals.

2. several people who ate together become ill. Signs and Symptoms 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Altered mental status. History of ingesting poisons. Burns around the mouth. Odd breath odors. Nauseas, vomiting. Abdominal pain. Diarrhea.

Instances when vomiting should not be induced 1. If unresponsive. 2. Cannot maintain an airway open. 3. Has ingested an acid, a corrosive lye, or a petroleum product such as gosoline or furniture polish. 4. Has a medical condition that could be complicated by vomiting, such as heart attack, seizures and pregnancy. First Aid 1. 2. 3. 4. Try to identify the poison. Place the victim on its left side. Save any empty container, spoiled food analysis. Save any vomitus and keep it with the victim if the person is taken to an emergency facility.

INHALED POISON is a poison breathed into the lungs. Signs and Symptoms 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. History of inhaling poisons. Breathing difficulty. Chest pain. Cough, hoarseness, burning sensation in the throat. Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of skin and mucous membranes). 6. Dizziness, headache. 7. Seizures, unresponsiveness (advance stages). First Aid 1. Remove the victim from the toxic environment and into

fresh air immediately. 2. Seek medical attention. ABSORBED POISON, also known as contact poison is a poison that enters the body through the skin. Signs and Symptoms 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. History of exposures. Liquid or powder on the skin Burns. Itching, irritation. Redness, rashes, blisters.

First Aid 1. Remove the clothing. 2. With a dry cloth, blot the posion from the skin. If the poison is a dry powder, brush it off. 3. Flood the area with copious amount of water. 4. Conrinually monitor the patient's vital signs. INJECTED POISON is a poison that enters the body through a bite, sting, or syringe. 1. Bee sting Signs and Symptoms

Stingers may be present. Pain Swelling Possible allergic reaction

First Aid 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Remove stinger. Wash wound. Cover the wound. Apply a cold pack. Watch for signals of allergic reaction

2. Spider bite

Signs and Symptoms

Nite mark Swelling Pain Nausea and vomiting Difficulty breathing or swallowing.

First Aid 1. 2. 3. 4. Wash wound. Apply a cold pack. Get medical care to receive antivenin. Get local emergency number, if necessary.

3. Marine Organisms Signs and Symptoms

Possible marks. Pain Swelling Possible allergic reaction.

First Aid 1. If jellyfish- soak area in vinegar 2. If sting ray- soak in nonscalding hot water until pain goes away. 3. Clean and bandage the wound. 4. Call emergency number, if necessary. 4. Snake bite Signs and Symptoms

Bite mark Pain

Comparative Characteristics of Snake

CHARACTERISTIC Movement Head VENOMOUS Semi-angular NON-VENOMOUS Oblongated

Cortina, side locomotion winding Semicortina curvature

Body Skin Pupil Ways/ manner of attack Bite marks

Rectangular Rough Vertical Nonconstrictor With fang marks

Circular Smooth Round Constrictor Horeshoe shape

First Aid 1. Wash wound. 2. Keep bitten part still, and lower than the heart. 3. Call local emergency number. 5. Dog bite Signs and Symptoms

Bite mark Bleeding

First Aid 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. If bleeding is minor- wash wound. Control bleeding. Apply antibiotic ointment. Cover the wound. Get medical attention if wound bleeds severly or if you suspect animal has rabies. 6. Call local emergency nunber or contact animal control personnel. General Care for Poisoning 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Survey the scene. Remove the victim from the source of the poison. Do a primary survey. Care for any life threatening condition. If the victim is conscious, do a secondary survey. Do not give the victim anything by mouth unless advised by medical professionals.

Reference: Standard First Aid: Participant's Workbook

The Philippine National Red, 2002 Edition Philippine Copyright, 1999


Poison First Aid: What to Do if Poisoned

DO NOT Panic! Swallowed Poison
Remove anything remaining in the mouth. Unless victim is unconscious, having a seizure, or cannot swallow, give about 2 ounces of water to drink. Call the poison center.

Do not try to neutralize a poison by giving raw eggs, salt water, mustard, vinegar or citrus fruit juices as an antidote or to cause vomiting. Never attempt to induce vomiting by sticking your fingers anywhere in the patient's mouth; this procedure can be very dangerous. Syrup of Ipecac Syrup of Ipecac is NOT a routine treatment for poisoning. Please contact your Poison Center before using. Activated Charcoal Activated charcoal is not recommended for home use. It is used to bind drugs and chemicals before they are absorbed into a person, but activated charcoal does not bind all drugs or chemicals and has some risk when given. Important: Only use it when told to do so by the Poison Center.

Poison in the Eye

Remove all foreign materials from the eyes including contact lenses if worn. Gently flush eye for 10 minutes, timed by the clock, using slightly warm water. Pour a stream of water from a clean glass held about 3 inches above the eye. Do not use any eye drops until advised to do so by the poison center. Call the poison center.

For adults, getting in the shower works best. Aim a gentle stream of lukewarm water on the forehead above the affected eye. If both eyes are affected, aim the stream at the bridge of the nose. Eyes do not have to be held open. Opening and closing the eyes repeatedly during the irrigation will help carry the water to all the surfaces of the eye. For young children, using large glass or a pitcher works best. Wrapped in a large towel, lie the child down in the bathtub or with head supported over sink. Pour a gentle stream of water at the bridge of the nose or on the forehead above the affected eye. Do not pour water directly onto the surface of the eyeball. Eyes do not need to be held open unless the child refuses to open them at all.

Poison on the Skin

Remove any contaminated clothing. Rinse the affected area thoroughly with large amounts of water. Wash the same area gently with hand soap and warm water to remove all remaining chemicals on the skin. If exposed, remember to wash hair and under fingernails. Call the poison center.

Inhaled Poison
Get to fresh air as soon as possible. Avoid breathing fumes. Ventilate that area as soon as possible by opening windows or directing fans toward the door, while protecting yourself from injury. Call the poison center. If the person is unconscious, having difficulty breathing or not breathing, call 911. the Poison Center immediately 1-800-222-1222 . Do not wait for symptoms to appear. If the person is unconscious or in immediate distress call 911

Do NOT Panic!
If you have a poisoning situation, do not panic. Panic is a very contagious emotion. If parents are upset, crying and screaming, a child can pick up on that very easily and will also start crying and become upset. When the entire family is upset, it becomes much harder to assess the situation and provide good care.

If you are the one with the poison problem, being scared and anxious will produce symptoms that many people mistake for symptoms of poisoning. Being very frightened can cause a dry mouth, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, sometimes diarrhea, headache, dizziness and a feeling of being light-headed. Most encounters with a toxic substance are not going to cause immediate symptoms. If you are very anxious and have symptoms immediately after an exposure, a majority of the times the symptoms are due to fear. But always call the Poison Center to make sure. Poison Center staff can reassure you if you are scared and can give you directions to help take care of your problem.
Click here to read the official Minnesota Poison Control System position on home use of Syrup of Ipecac. SOURCE:


Poisons are substances that cause injury, illness or death These events are caused by a chemical activity in the cells Poisons can be injected, inhaled or swallowed Poisoning should be suspected if a person is sick for unknown reason Poor ventilation can aggravate Inhalation poisoning First aid is critical in saving the life of victims


Medications Drug overdose Occupational exposure Cleaning detergents/paints Carbon mono oxide gas from furnace, heaters Insecticides Certain cosmetics Certain household plants, animals Food poisoning (Botulism)


Blue lips Skin Rashes Difficulty in breathing Diarrhea Vomiting/Nausea Fever Head ache Giddiness/drowsiness Double vision Abdominal/chest pain Palpitations/Irritability Lossofappetite/bladder control Numbness Muscletwitching Seizures Weakness Loss of consciousness


Seek immediatemedicalhelp


Try and identify the poison if possible Check for signs like burns around mouth,breathingdifficultyor vomiting Induce vomiting if poison swallowed In case of convulsions, protect the person from self injury If the vomit falls on the skin, wash it thoroughly Position the victim on the left till medical help arrives
For inhalation poisoning

Seek immediateemergencyhelp Get help before you attempt to rescue others Hold a wet cloth to cover your nose and mouth Open all the doors and windows Take deep breaths before you begin the rescue Avoid lighting a match Check the patient's breathing Do a CPR, if necessary If the patient vomits, take steps to prevent choking

Steps to Avoid

Avoid giving an unconscious victim anything orally Do not induce vomiting unless told by a medical personnel Do not give any medication to the victim unless directed by a doctor Do not neutralize the poison with limejuice/honey


Store medicines, cleaning detergents, mosquito repellants and paints carefully Keep all potentially poisonous substances out of children's reach Label the poisons in your house Avoid keeping poisonous plants in or around house Take care whileeatingproductssuch as berries, roots or mushrooms Teach children the need to exercise caution

Read more:Poisoning - First Aid and Emergency Treatment Guide SOURCE: