Key Points to Providing Proper First Aid for Poisoning
Poisoning is not an uncommon accident, which commonly occurs at home. Hence, it is essential that you know first aid for poisoning in order to prevent severe complications.
Many cases of unintentional poisoning occur at home. This is because there are different household products that can cause poisoning. And most of these products can lead to fatal consequences, especially if not treated immediately. Proper first aid for poisoning during the first few minutes of ingesting a poison is essential in for ensuring the safety of the victim. Unfortunately, not many people know how to provide first aid for this emergency.
A lot of people think that first aid for poisoning involves giving syrup of ipecac or inducing vomiting. Although these first aid techniques may be recommended in some cases, they are not the standard procedures for all actual or suspected cases of poisoning. If used in the wrong situation, these first aid techniques can even cause further harm.
Recognizing signs and symptoms of poisoning is one crucial step in providing first aid for poisoning. Here are the signs and symptoms to watch out for:
• Redness or burns around the lips or mouth.
• Unusual breath odor, depending on the chemicals ingested (such as paint thinner, household cleaner, or gasoline)
• Odors, stains and burns on the person, usually on the clothing or surrounding area
• Empty containers or medication bottles, or scattered pills
• Difficulty breathing
• Unusual sleepiness or difficulty being roused
What to do:
If the person becomes dizzy, drowsy, or unconscious; develops seizures; gradually deteriorates; experiences difficulty of breathing; or stops breathing; be sure to call 911 or your local poison control for help. First aid courses often include first aid for poisoning.
If the person appears stable and shows no symptoms, but you suspect poisoning, call your local poison control center. Inform the call operator about the symptoms of the victim and, if possible, details about the substance that has been ingested, when and how much.
While waiting for help:
Keep the person calm and warm. Provide reassurance and do not leave the person unattended.
Do not induce vomiting or administer syrup of ipecac unless instructed by the local poison control center to do so. In case of exposure to poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide, get the victim into a wellventilated space immediately.
If the ingested substance is a household cleaner or other chemical, check the label for instructions regarding what to in case of accidental poisoning.
Be ready to follow instructions given by the Poison Control Center.
If the poison has spilled over the person’s clothing, eyes or skin, remove clothing and flush affected body under running water.
Bring with you to the hospital empty containers of the suspected poison.
While no one ever wants poisoning to happen, it would greatly help if you know how to provide first aid for poisoning. There are different first aid-training providers that offer basic first aid courses to meet your needs. Check them out for available training schedules.