Poisoning dangers range from short-term illness to brain damage, coma as well as death. To prevent the occurrence of this, storage, exactly as the labels indicate, of hazardous chemicals or potential poison dangers are important. Keep them away from children. And have poison treatment and know-how ready, and do not hesitate to call for help.

Common Poison Sources

  • Overdoses of prescription, over-the-counter or illegal drugs
  • Carbon monoxide or other dangerous gases
  • Household products like furniture polish, laundry powder and other cleaning agents
  • Pesticides, herbicides and other toxins
  • Indoor or outdoor plants
  • Metals like lead or mercury
  • Animals, insects (see Animal Bite)

Signs of Poisoning

  • Drowsiness
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Tight chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Burning pain from mouth to stomach
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden collapse

First Aid for Poisoning

1. Monitor Patient’s lifeline (DRABC) and resuscitate as needed. If patient stops breathing, commence CPR, taking care not to inhale the casualty’s expired air.

2. Call for medical attention while trying to determine nature of poisoning especially if you do not see the poison source.

3. Reassure patient and stay with him or her.

4. Call Poison Information Centre, if there is one in your area (e.g. 13 11 26 in Australia)

What to do while waiting for help

1. If exposed to fumes or poison gas, get victim to fresh air immediately.

2. If the person swallowed the poison, remove any remaining in the mouth.

3. Most labels will include instructions for accidental poisoning, so if you suspect this is the cause, read and follow. If there are none, follow the instructions given over the phone by the medical response team or the poison information centre.
If the poison spilled on the clothing, skin or the eyes of the victim, remove the clothing, or flush the skin or eyes with cool to

4. lukewarm water. Use the shower for 20 minutes or until help arrives

5. DR. ABC, never forget

6. Take the poison container, animal or insect (only if possible and it’s not strongly advised) to the hospital to help establish the cause and further treatment.


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