Poisoning is often caused by accidental exposure to a harmful substance, such as cleaning products, medications, small button-cell batteries, poisonous plants, and gases. Immediate first aid is vital in a poison emergency as it can save the victim’s life before seeking medical assistance.
Sometimes overdose of medications that seem safe can actually be dangerous. Do not hesitate to call poison control right away. Poison Control is an excellent resource that is available 24/7.
Avoid administering any agents to induce vomiting; especially for for poisons that are irritating, caustic, or burning as they can end up doing more damage as they come back up out or be aspirated into the trachea and/or lungs. Visit the Poison Control website, or call 1-800-222-1222 for expert help. If you are able to tell Poison Control the name of the poison ingested, they will be able to give more specific recommendations.
If your child ingests a button battery, or places one in an orifice, such as the nose, immediately go to the ER. The longer the battery is there, the more damage it can do.
The first step when a victim has inhaled poison is to move to a well-ventilated area. Move as far away as possible from the toxic fumes and seek professional emergency care.
Every moment counts – too much exposure can worsen a patient’s outcome. First, if you are helping someone, be sure that you are protected and not exposing yourself or other people to the chemical. Remove all clothing touched by the irritant and avoid exposure of any fumes from the chemical. Many skin exposures can be simply rinsed off with room temperature water. HOWEVER, be sure to follow the advice listed for exposure on the chemical packaging/label and contact Poison Control for more specific guidance.
A delay after eye poisoning may result in loss of sight; as such, thoroughly rinse the victim’s eyes for at least 15 minutes. If you are around an emergency eye wash station – use it. In cases of young children it may be easier to wrap them in a towel, head to the sink, and let water flow over the eyes, or use a pitcher to rinse the eyes to avoid water from going into their nose or mouth.
When you seek emergency care, bring the poison and its packaging if it is safe to do so without causing any additional exposure. In case of an emergency in Amarillo, TX, do not hesitate to contact the ER on Soncy.