First Aid

First Aid: Poison Consumption

Poison refers to any substance that is dangerous to one’s body. It can cause serious injury, illness or even death. Poison enters the body either by inhaling, swallowing or injecting the harmful substance.

Majority times poisoning occurs accidentally. Following items can be poisonous to the body if consumed:

  • Over dose of drugs
  • Over dose of any medicines
  • Pesticides
  • Metal such as lead and mercury
  • Household detergents and cleaning liquid

Symptoms:

Depending on what the person has consumed, symptoms may vary, however the most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blue lips
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Skin rash
  • Unconsciousness

Sometimes symptoms may take time to show up depending on how harmful the substance is. However, one should not wait for the symptom to occur, one should immediately seek for medical attention.


First Aid Treatment

The remedy for poisoning depends on the type of harmful substance consumed.

  • Do not panic. Panic is the most contagious emotion. It would make the situation more worse.
  • Immediately call for medical emergency.

However in the meanwhile till the emergency arrives,

  • Try identifying what the victim has consumed.
  • Loosen the person’s clothing.
  • Make sure the victim is breathing.
  • If the victim appears to be unconscious, try keeping him awake and encourage him/her to spit out the substance.
  • While waiting for the medical help to arrive, lie the victim on one side placing few pillows  behind their back so that the victims does not fall.
  • Clean the vomit if any, from their mouth.
  • Keep the person’s head facing downwards so that they can vomit easily without swallowing it.

Steps to Avoid:

  • In state of unconsciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.
  • Do not insert your finger into the victim’s mouth.
  • Do not give ipecac syrup to the victim.
  • Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by the medical personnel.
  • Do not give activated charcoal to the victim.

Prevention:

  • Keep all poisonous and harmful substances out of children’s reach.
  • Store the medicines, cleaning agents, mosquito repellants in safe place.
  • Educate your child about the dangers of harmful substances.
  • Label all the harmful substances.

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