First Aid For Swallowed Poisons – Stay Calm
Poisons cause a lot of damage to the body. Swallowed poisons normally damage the digestive systems and can do much worse when in the bloodstream. Many household products like dishwasher detergent, paint and bleach contain chemicals that can cause harm to the human body when digested. Some medication can also lead to poisoning when an overdose is taken.
What Are the Symptoms of Poisoning?
The symptoms and effects of poisoning mostly depend on the cause. Some of the most common signs to lookout for include:
- Vomiting that may at times be bloodstained
- Burning sensation
- Empty containers or pills in the area
- Moist face
- Difficulty in breathing
- Bounding pulse
- Victims who’re unconscious may exhibit symptoms like:
- Dilated pupils
- Shallow breathing
- Dry face
- Weak pulse
What Are the Treatment Options for Poisoning?
Swallowed poisons are quite challenging to treat. The first thing to do in such a case is to call an ambulance and poison control. When still on its way, try to administer first aid (learn by taking a course here) as this may calm the situation.
Try to do the following:
- Ensure that the victim is breathing properly. Place his/her body in a position that will keep the airway open.
- Help with breathing and circulation as well by removing extra clothing and opening the windows.
- Remove all clothing items that may have been contaminated by the poison. Make sure that you handle the clothing with plastic gloves or with an effective barrier device.
- Try as much as possible to identify the type of poison that the victim may have taken. Swallowed poisons are usually common household products. Take its package to the hospital for further examination.
For cases where the victim is conscious, do the following:
- Ask the victim exactly what he/she swallowed.
- Keep them company before the ambulance arrives. Talking to them and reassuring them that everything will be okay eases tension.
- Provide the doctors will detail information regarding the swallowed poisons. This will help them in deciding the most appropriate treatment method.
In the event that the victim losses consciousness, do the following:
- Check whether the victim is breathing or not. If there are no signs of breathing, place the body in a position that will enable the airway to be open
- Conduct CPR to restore breathing and circulation if necessary
- Victim’s who are breathing as normal but are unconscious should be placed in a recovery position. Other medical conditions must be considered as well.
- Assess if the victim may have collapsed and sustained other injuries as a result of the fall.
What Are Additional Concerns With Swallowed Poisons?
Victims of poisoning usually have other potential risks that one has to be aware of. These include:
- Victims who are unconscious are at risk of choking on their vomit. This is bound to occur particularly when they inhale the vomit.
- Inducing vomit can be very risky. Avoid doing so and opt to giving the victim plenty of water instead. This will help in flushing the poisonous substances from the body.