First Aid for Poisons and Overdoses
A person can be poisoned from a number of sources in a variety of ways. Because the cause may be unclear, proper first aid is essential.
Causes: Poison can enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, absorption, or injection. The most common sources of poisoning include cleaning supplies; cosmetics; plants; medications, such as analgesics; gases and vapors, such as gasoline; and pesticides.
Symptoms: Depending on the poison, signs may include rapid or difficult breathing; ringing in the ears; nausea; overexcitement; unconsciousness; burns on lips, mouth, and tongue; abdominal pain; vomiting; bloody vomit; abnormal skin color; seizures.
Check breathing. If it has stopped, see rescue breathing.
Look for container from ingested substance, and try to determine what and how much victim swallowed and when.
If victim is unconscious, call for EMS. If victim is conscious, call Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222. Be prepared to read label on container to emergency personnel and to indicate how much was swallowed and when.
Have the bottle of poison
handy when calling
Follow instructions from emergency personnel. DO NOT give anything to eat or drink. DO NOT give antidotes or induce vomiting unless directed to do so by emergency personnel.
Until EMS arrives:
Place victim in Recovery Position. If victim vomits, clean out mouth.
- Give container from ingested substance to EMS.