What you should do if someone is poisoned

First and formost, remain calm.

Then locate and telephone a Poison Prevention Center as soon as possible.

For the call, have ready:

  • the age of the patient
  • your name and telephone number
  • the name of the product and the ingredients
  • amount of the poison involved
  • the time the poisoning occured
  • any symptoms present in the victim

If you are instructed to go the the hospital or another emergency facility, always bring the original container of the suspected substance with you!


Types of poisoning incidents & possible responses

  • Poison on the skin
    Remove all contaminated clothing and flood the skin with water for 10 minutes. Then, wash the affected area gently with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.

  • Poison in the eye
    Flood the eye with lukewarm (not hot) water poured from a large glass 2 to 3 inches from the eye. Repeat for 15 minutes. Have the patient blink as much as possible while flooding the eye. Do not force the eyelid open.

  • Poison by inhalation
    Immediately get the person to fresh air. Avoid breathing fumes. Open all doors and windows wide. If victim is not breathing, then start artificial respiration.

  • Poison by swallowing
    Medicine: Do not give anything by mouth until calling for advice.
    Chemical or Household Products: Unless the patient is unconscious, having convulsions, or cannot swallow -- give milk or water immediately. Then call for professional advice about whether you should make the patient vomit or not.

    Always keep on hand at home a one ounce bottle of syrup of ipecac for each child in the home. Use only on advice of a poison control center, emergency department, or physicians.

Remember, stay calm, and seek professional help as soon as possible.

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