Common Poisons And Treatments Emergency

Poison exposure or ingestion can cause illness and injury, and in severe cases, it can be fatal. Because many households contain potentially dangerous drugs and poisons, you may want to be aware of emergency treatments should someone you know ingest a poisonous substance in your home.

Emergency treatments for poisoning differ depending on the part of the body affected, the amount of poison involved and the overall severity of the case. Whether a first aid kit is needed, or the poisoning calls for a trip to the emergency room, the important thing to keep in mind is not to panic. With the right poison response and first-aid, you and those around you can safely help a victim of poisoning.

First-Aid and Treatment for a Poison Medical Emergency

If you know you have poisonous substances in your home, you may want to keep a first-aid kit on hand in case of a medical emergency. A first-aid kit contains medical items that can be extremely helpful in your response to a poisoning, such as:

  • Antiseptic wipes: These can be used to disinfect and clean an area of skin that has been exposed to a poisonous substance.
  • Mouthpiece for CPR: In the event that someone is having trouble breathing, this can help you administer CPR.
  • Tweezers: In the event of a bee sting, tweezers can be used to remove the stinger from the skin.

If the poisonous substance is causing a severe reaction — such as vomiting, unconsciousness or seizures — call 911 immediately to be taken to the emergency room for medical attention.

Steps to Prevent Injury

There are four different ways someone can become poisoned — they can ingest, inhale, absorb or be injected by a poisonous substance. Each of these cases can result in a medical emergency, which is why it’s extremely important to be prepared.

Here are some steps you can take in the event of a poisoning:

  • If poison has been ingested: Treatment for poison ingestion sometimes involves removing the remaining poison from the mouth. Unless the person is unconscious or having a seizure, give them some water to drink. Do not give them syrup of ipecac or activated charcoal. These should only be administered by medical professionals.
  • If poison has been inhaled: Get the person fresh air. Open windows or go outside. If the person is having trouble breathing, call 911. Avoid breathing in the fumes yourself.
  • If poison has been absorbed on the skin: Remove clothes that are contaminated, and wash the skin with water. Don’t forget to wash your own skin — this can help prevent you from being exposed.
  • If poison is injected by a venomous insect: Remove any stinger gently, wash the area that was affected with lukewarm water and call the Poison Control Center near you. Do not use dirty or dull tweezers to remove a stinger. This can worsen the situation by leading to infection or pushing the stinger deeper into the skin.

Remember, try not to panic if you or someone else has been poisoned, and call 911 if you think you have a medical emergency.

Resources

KidsHealth. (2007). First-aid kit. Retrieved April 27, 2010, from http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/home/firstaid_kit.html.

Medline Plus. (2010). Household products. Retrieved April 27, 2010, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/householdproducts.html.

Minnesota Poison Control System. (2004). Poison first aid. Retrieved April 27, 2010, from http://www.mnpoison.org/index.asp?pageID=49.

National Capital Poison Center. (2010). Poison info. Retrieved April 27, 2010, from http://www.poison.org/current/.