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First Aid for Poisoning


Poison is any substance: solid, liquid or gas, that tends to impair health or cause death when introduced into the body or onto the skin surface. A poisoning emergency can be life threatening. Causes:
1. 2.

Common in suicide attempts. Occasional accidental poisoning.

Ways in which poisoning may occur

ingestion- by mouth inhalation- by breathing injection- by animal bites, stings, syringes absorption- by skin contact Common Household Poison
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Sleeping pills Pain relievers Insect and rodent poisons Kerosene Denatured alcohol Lye and acids including boric Poisonous plants Contaminated water Fume

INGESTED POISON is one that is introduced into the digestive tract by way of the mouth. One form of ingestion poisoning is food poisoning, a general form that covers a variety of conditions. Suspect food poisoning if:


the victim ate food that "didn't taste right" or that may have been old, improperly prepared, contaminated, left at room temperature for a long time, or proceesed with an excessive amount of chemicals. several people who ate together become ill.

Signs and Symptoms

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Altered mental status. History of ingesting poisons. Burns around the mouth. Odd breath odors. Nauseas, vomiting. Abdominal pain.



Instances when vomiting should not be induced

1. 2. 3. 4.

If unresponsive. Cannot maintain an airway open. Has ingested an acid, a corrosive lye, or a petroleum product such as gosoline or furniture polish. Has a medical condition that could be complicated by vomiting, such as heart attack, seizures and pregnancy.

First Aid
1. 2. 3. 4.

Try to identify the poison. Place the victim on its left side. Save any empty container, spoiled food analysis. Save any vomitus and keep it with the victim if the person is taken to an emergency facility.

INHALED POISON is a poison breathed into the lungs. Signs and Symptoms
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

History of inhaling poisons. Breathing difficulty. Chest pain. Cough, hoarseness, burning sensation in the throat. Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of skin and mucous membranes). Dizziness, headache. Seizures, unresponsiveness (advance stages).

First Aid
1. 2.

Remove the victim from the toxic environment and into fresh air immediately. Seek medical attention.

ABSORBED POISON, also known as contact poison is a poison that enters the body through the skin. Signs and Symptoms
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

History of exposures. Liquid or powder on the skin Burns. Itching, irritation. Redness, rashes, blisters.

First Aid
1. 2. 3.

Remove the clothing. With a dry cloth, blot the posion from the skin. If the poison is a dry powder, brush it off. Flood the area with copious amount of water.


Conrinually monitor the patient's vital signs.

INJECTED POISON is a poison that enters the body through a bite, sting, or syringe. 1. Bee sting Signs and Symptoms

Stingers may be present. Pain Swelling Possible allergic reaction First Aid
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Remove stinger. Wash wound. Cover the wound. Apply a cold pack. Watch for signals of allergic reaction

2. Spider bite Signs and Symptoms

Nite mark Swelling Pain Nausea and vomiting Difficulty breathing or swallowing. First Aid
1. 2. 3. 4.

Wash wound. Apply a cold pack. Get medical care to receive antivenin. Get local emergency number, if necessary.

3. Marine Organisms Signs and Symptoms

Possible marks. Pain Swelling Possible allergic reaction. First Aid

1. 2. 3.

If jellyfish- soak area in vinegar If sting ray- soak in nonscalding hot water until pain goes away. Clean and bandage the wound.


Call emergency number, if necessary.

4. Snake bite Signs and Symptoms

Bite mark Pain Comparative Characteristics of Snake

CHARACTERISTIC Movement Head Body Skin Pupil Ways/ manner of attack Bite marks VENOMOUS Cortina, side locomotion winding Semi-angular Rectangular Rough Vertical Nonconstrictor With fang marks NON-VENOMOUS Semicortina curvature Oblongated Circular Smooth Round Constrictor Horeshoe shape

First Aid
1. 2. 3.

Wash wound. Keep bitten part still, and lower than the heart. Call local emergency number.

5. Dog bite Signs and Symptoms

Bite mark Bleeding First Aid

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

If bleeding is minor- wash wound. Control bleeding. Apply antibiotic ointment. Cover the wound. Get medical attention if wound bleeds severly or if you suspect animal has rabies. Call local emergency nunber or contact animal control personnel.

General Care for Poisoning

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Survey the scene. Remove the victim from the source of the poison. Do a primary survey. Care for any life threatening condition. If the victim is conscious, do a secondary survey.


Do not give the victim anything by mouth unless advised by medical professionals.

Reference: Standard First Aid: Participant's Workbook The Philippine National Red, 2002 Edition Philippine Copyright, 1999