Poisoning , which occurs when a person has ingested a substance that is harmful to the body, is one of the medical emergencies that requires the most immediate attention. Acting quickly can be the difference between life and death, so it helps to know basic first aid for poisonings while medical attention arrives.
In this FastlyHealarticle we explain in detail the main substances that commonly cause this problem, the symptoms, first aid for poisonings and the keys to prevent domestic accidents of this type.
Table of Contents
What substances commonly cause poisonings?
Not necessarily those substances that can cause poisoning are marked as dangerous. Any substance of daily use that is not considered for human consumption could cause significant health problems. In the same way, abusing medication, alcohol or drugs could cause a serious overdose that significantly compromises well-being.
Some of the products that can cause poisoning are:
- Over-swallowed medications, including over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Detergents and cleaning products.
- Bad food that can cause food poisoning such as salmonellosis .
- Indoor and outdoor plants whose intake may be toxic.
- Excessive drug use voluntarily or accidentally.
- Chemicals in the work area.
Symptoms of poisoning
Quickly detecting the symptoms of poisoning is essential to act quickly and guarantee the recovery of the affected person. The signs of this condition can vary depending on the type of poison that the person has ingested, but usually include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bluish lips.
- Trouble breathing.
- Heart palpitations
- Urinary or fecal incontinence.
- Double vision or vertigo.
- Drowsiness and confusion
- Loss of consciousness
- Other symptoms may be weakness, strange breath, fever, poor appetite, skin rash, and loss of appetite.
First aid for poisoning
Poisoning is considered a major medical emergency, so the first step is to call the emergency number immediately so that a medical team can take care of the situation. While the ambulance arrives, you must act depending on the type of emergency.
- Monitor the heart rate of the affected person, monitor that they are breathing properly and in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest, apply cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- Try to determine if the person is actually intoxicated and, if possible, determine the substance or drug that could have caused the problem, in this way it will be much easier to attend the emergency for the medical team.
- If the person vomits, place them on their side so that the vomit can flow properly, then place a glove on your hand or wrap it with a cloth and clear the airway of the affected person by removing all vomit residue from the mouth. If possible, take a sample of it if you do not know what toxic substance has ingested, this can help determine it. Never induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a doctor.
- Lay the person on their left side and keep them comfortable until medical attention arrives.
- If the patient begins to have seizures, keep him lying on his side, protect his head with a pillow or soft object so that he does not hit himself, and move all furniture away to avoid injury.
- The main thing is to rescue the person from the environment in which the smoke, gas or toxic is present. To do this, cover your nose with a damp cloth and look for the person in question, it is essential that you do not use a match or a lighter in the area or near it as some gases can produce combustion.
- Examine the airway and pulse of the affected person, if not breathing may be necessary to apply the cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuver.
- If the person vomits, place them on their side so that the vomit can flow properly, then place a glove on your hand or wrap it with a cloth and clear the airway of the affected person by removing all vomit residue from the mouth. Never induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a doctor.
- Even if the affected person seems to be perfectly well, it is necessary for a doctor to examine him, so always call the emergency room.
What you should NOT do before an intoxication
It is important that when giving first aid for poisonings you never do the following:
- Administer any type of medication.
- Stimulate vomiting unless directed by a specialist. Certain toxic chemicals can cause burns to the throat and esophagus that can be aggravated by vomiting the substance.
- Do not use any home remedy to neutralize the toxin unless directed by a specialist.
- Do not wait for symptoms, if you suspect that someone has been poisoned, take them immediately to a health care center.
Keys to prevent these accidents
- Medicines, detergents and chemicals and toxic products should be completely out of the reach of children, kept in locked cabinets or in places that cannot be easily accessed.
- Poisonous substances or household detergents and chemicals should be marked as poison. Teach children the meaning of that mark so they can recognize them.
- Explain to your children that they should never eat indoor or outdoor plants. Do some research on the plants you have at home and discard any that may be poisonous.
- Toxic or chemical products should never be stored in food containers.
- Never drink water that you suspect may be contaminated. In the same way, expired foods, with a bad smell or doubtful appearance should not be consumed.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.