A poison is a substance that causes damage, sickness or loss if it penetrates the body. Poisons might enter the body in the shape of fluids, gas or solids. Chemicals that are consumed might damage the digestive area, or cause more extensive damage if they penetrate the bloodstream and move to other sections of the body.
Harmful chemicals comprise of regular domestic substances. For instance, peroxide, dishwasher chemicals etc. Drugs, whether they are approved or purchased over the counter, are also destructive if an overdose is taken. The result of poisoning depends on the chemical that has been consumed.
Poisons can go in via:
- the oral cavity and digestive system
- vapours via the lungs
- absorption of a substance through the skin
- insertion of drugs through the skin
Symptoms and signs (some may be present)
- queasiness or nausea
- abdominal throbbing
- unconsciousness or weakening conscious condition
- breathing trouble altered or altered behaviour – e.g. illusion, hostility
How you can help
- Check for hazards before approaching the casualty
- Ensure protection for yourself, the casualty, and any others prior to approaching to offer first aid. If secure and essential, remove the casualty to a safer spot.
- Note down any information about the poisoning occurrence – e.g. drugs, burns surrounding the mouth, etc.
- Verify the casualty’s level of awareness
- If breathing usually, revolve the casualty on their side in a supported location and check to see if the airway is clear.
Call the paramedics.
- If the mouth has burns from an acidic toxin, clean the region with a damp cloth or tissue.
- Phone the National Poisons Center
- If poisoning has taken place, but the casualty displays no undesirable signs or symptoms you can call the national poisons center (most countries have one) for detailed guidance on the first aid management necessary.
- Pursue all information regarding medical instruction.
Unique poisoning situations
Poisons via inhalation
- Ensure wellbeing prior to approaching the casualty
- If toxic vapors are present in a limited space the casualty has to be moved into clean air as soon as possible. The first aider might require entering the space if the casualty is unconscious and must be pulled to safety. Though, the first aider should take no unwarranted risks.
- When it is secure to do so, verify the casualty’s level of consciousness and provide general first aid for poisoning.
When dragged into clean air, the casualty might recuperate quickly from inhaled gases.
Though, some poisonous substances can cause severe troubles once inhaled into the lungs, therefore, medical evaluation and treatment are vital.
Related Video on First Aid for Poisons