The American Academy of Pediatrics states that about 2.4 million people -- half of whom are under the age of 6 -- ingest or are exposed to toxic substances each year. Toxins can be inhaled, ingested, or seep through the skin. The most dangerous causes of poisoning include drugs, cleaning products, liquid nicotine, antifreeze and windshield wipers, pesticides, gasoline, kerosene and lamp oil, etc. The effects of these and other toxic substances are so diverse that the cause is difficult to determine and the diagnosis of poisoning is delayed in many cases. The first and most important step in all cases of suspected poisoning is to immediately contact emergency services or poisoning information.
Part 1 of 2: Seeking Medical Help
Step 1. Know the symptoms of poisoning
Signs of poisoning can be determined by the type of poison ingested, such as pesticides, drugs, or small batteries. In addition, the general symptoms of poisoning that often arise are similar to those of the disease, such as seizures, insulin reactions, strokes, and hangovers. One of the best ways to find out if poison is the cause is to look for clues such as empty packaging or bottles, odors or scents on the victim or nearby locations, and odd objects or open cabinets. Even so, there are also some physical symptoms to watch out for, namely:
- Burns and/or redness around the mouth
- Breath that smells of chemicals (gasoline or paint thinner)
- Throws up
- Difficulty breathing
- Weak or sleepy
- Confusion or mental disorder
Step 2. Check if the victim is still breathing
Watch the chest rise and fall; listen to the sound of air going in and out of the lungs; Feel the air coming out of the victim's mouth by placing your face in front of him.
- If the victim is not breathing or showing signs of life, such as moving or coughing, give artificial respiration (CPR), and call or ask someone nearby to call the emergency number.
- If the victim is vomiting, especially if she is unconscious, tilt her head so she doesn't choke.
Step 3. Call emergency services
Call 118 or the emergency number in your area if the victim is unconscious and you suspect poisoning or an overdose of drugs, drugs or alcohol (or a combination of these). In addition, call 118 immediately if the victim shows any of the following symptoms of severe poisoning:
- Difficulty or stopping breathing
- Move uncontrollably
Step 4. Call the poison information center
If the victim is stable and asymptomatic, but you suspect that the problem is poisoning, call the HALOBPOM poison information center 1500533. If you know the number for the poison information center in your area, call this number and ask for help. Poisoning information centers can provide important information on poisoning cases and, in some situations, may suggest care and monitoring of the victim's condition at home (see Section 2) if this is necessary.
- Poisoning center telephone numbers may vary by region, but you should be able to easily find this number for your area online. Poisoning information will be provided free of charge.
- You can get information from the poisoning information center by telephone, SMS, email, fax, or come in person. The poison information center officer may recommend that you provide home care, but may also ask you to take the victim to the emergency department immediately. Take action as recommended, and nothing else; Poisoning Information Center officers are highly trained to assist in poisoning cases.
- You can also visit the poisoning information center website page to find out what action needs to be taken. Only use this site if the victim is between 6 months-79 years old, asymptomatic or cooperating, not pregnant, poison has been ingested, the cause of poisoning is likely a drug, drug, household cleaning product or poisonous fruit, and This incident was unintentional and only happened once.
Step 5. Prepare important information
Be prepared to explain the victim's age, weight, symptoms, and other medications the victim is taking, as well as any other information about what she has swallowed to the medical staff. You will also need to provide your address to the telephone receptionist.
Also be sure to have labels or packaging (bottles, pouches, etc.) ready or whatever the victim has swallowed. Try your best to estimate how much poison the victim has swallowed
Part 2 of 2: Providing First Aid
Step 1. Handle the poison that has been ingested
Have the victim vomit whatever is in his mouth and make sure the poison is out of reach. DO NOT force the victim to vomit and DO NOT use ipekak syrup. While it used to be standard practice, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Poison Control Centers have changed their guidelines and no longer recommend this action. The recommended step is to contact emergency services or a poisoning information center and follow the directions.
If the victim swallows a button-sized battery, call an ambulance immediately so that he or she can get treatment in the hospital's emergency department as soon as possible. The acid from the battery can burn a child's stomach in as little as 2 hours, so emergency help is essential
Step 2. Treat the poison in the eye area
Gently flush the affected eye with plenty of cold or lukewarm water for 15 minutes or until medical attention arrives. Try to pour water steadily into the inner corner of the eye. This flow of water will help dilute the toxins.
Let the victim blink and don't force her to open her eyes while you pour the water
Step 3. Treat inhaled poison
When handling toxic fumes or vapors such as carbon monoxide for example, it is best to wait outside for fresh air.
Try to find out what chemicals the victim inhaled and send them to a poison information center or emergency services so that further treatment steps can be determined
Step 4. Treat toxins in the skin
If the victim's skin is suspected of having been exposed to a toxic or hazardous material, remove the contaminated clothing layer with medical gloves such as nitrile resistant to most household cleaning agents, or another material to protect your hands. Rinse the victim's skin for 15-20 minutes with cold or lukewarm water in the shower or using a hose.
Again, you need to find out the cause of the poisoning to help determine the next treatment. For example, medical personnel need to know whether the cause is an acidic, alkaline, or other substance in order to estimate the possible damage to the skin and how to avoid or treat it
- Never introduce medicine as "candy" to children to get them to take it. They may want to eat this "candy" again when you're not around to help.
- Keep the HALOBPOM poison information center telephone number 1500533 in the refrigerator or near the telephone so that it is always available when needed.
- Although ipekac and activated charcoal are available in most pharmacies, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Poison Control Centers no longer recommend home remedies that may do more harm than good.
- Prevent misuse of toxic materials. Prevention is the best course of action to avoid poisoning. Store all medications, batteries, varnish, laundry soap, and household cleaning products in a locked cupboard, and do not remove them from their original packaging. Read the package label carefully to make sure you understand how to use it properly.