What are the best first–aid treatments for swallowed poison?
Call the nearest emergency health service in your area. The number is in the front of the telephone book.
Give them all the details, including the name of the poison or drug, if known, and the quantity you believe has been swallowed.
If the swallowed poison is an overdose of a medication or drug, vomiting should be induced.
If the swallowed poison is a petroleum product such as Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene or oil, or if it is a strong acid or alkali, vomiting should not be induced.
If vomiting is not being induced, the poison should be diluted by giving the victim a glass of water or milk. Repeat this, but if nausea ensues, discontinue the process.
If the victim vomits, save the vomit for subsequent analysis.
If respirations cease or are shallow and irregular give the victim mouth–to–mouth artificial respiration.
If the heart stops, give the victim CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
Why is it bad practice to cause vomiting when someone has swallowed a petroleum product or strong acid or alkali?
When one vomits a petroleum product, some of it may get down into the lungs and cause pneumonia.
When one vomits a strong acid or alkali, the substance may result in further burning of the esophagus (food pipe) and mouth.
What are the best ways to cause vomiting?
Tickle the back of the throat with your finger.
Give the victim a glass or two of warm water containing salt, soap, or mustard.
If you have vomiting inducing medicine on hand, give the victim a tablespoonful.
If vomiting is indicated, is it advisable to cause more than one episode?
Yes. The stomach may not completely empty itself the first time one throws up.
After the stomach has been emptied, what should be given to drink?
Tea, milk, or the whites of several eggs. These will act as antidotes to many poisons.
Should activated charcoal be given to one who has swallowed a poison?
Yes. This is a good substance to have in the household as it tends to bind (deactivate) the poison.
How can one tell whether a strong acid or alkali has been swallowed?
In many cases there will be obvious burns around the lips or in the mouth.
How can one tell whether a petroleum product has been swallowed?
Often one will be able to smell Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene, or oil on the victim’s breath.
What poisons are most apt to interfere with breathing?
One of the most common causes of depressed breathing is an overdose of barbiturates or other sleeping pills. Also morphine and heroin cause deep depression of respirations when taken in large doses.
What is the first–aid treatment for gas poisoning?
Shut off the gas and open the windows.
Get the patient out into the open where can breathe fresh air.
Mouth–to–mouth breathing should be applied if the victim is not breathing on his own.
Loosen any tight collars or tight clothing.
Call for an emergency squad so that the pure oxygen can be administered.
For how long a period should artificial respiration be continued if the victim is not breathing?
For as long as there is the slightest evidence of a pulse or heartbeat. Feel for the pulse in the neck.
Do people who recover from gas poisoning require careful observation?
Yes. There may be serious mental disturbance as a consequence of the effect of the gas poisoning upon the brain cells.